Say cheese! To enhance and support its next-generation Smart TVs, cars and other devices, South Korean electronics giant LG has acquired the “webOS” mobile operating system technology from Hewlett-Packard (HP).
Weird and unexpected!!!
LG Electronics will also receive licenses under HP’s intellectual property (IP) for use with its webOS products, including patents acquired from Palm covering fundamental operating system and user interface technologies now in broad use across the industry.
If you remember, HP had inherited the OS when it purchased Palm for $1.2 billion in 2010.
HP used webOS as its springboard into the smartphone and tablet computer market in 2011, but quickly scrapped the mobile devices running on the software amid disappointing sales.
A December 2012 study by YuMe forecast that one in five homes will have a smart TV in 2013, while study the same month from Strategy Analytics predicted that 2012, at its close, saw 54 percent growth in the smart TV market, with sales of about 53 million units in 2012 and sales nearer to 180 million units by 2017.
Japan, with 21 percent market share, led the smart TV market in 2012, followed by the United States, China and Germany.
Also under the agreement:
LG will assume stewardship of the open source projects of Open WebOS and Enyo.
HP will retain ownership of all of Palm’s cloud computing assets, including source code, talent, infrastructure and contracts.
HP will continue to support Palm users.
“This groundbreaking development demonstrates LG’s commitment to investing in talent and research in Silicon Valley, one of the world’s innovation hotbeds. It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices. The open and transparent webOS technology offers a compelling user experience that, when combined with our own technology, will pave the way for future innovations using the latest Web technologies,” said Skott Ahn, president and chief technology officer of LG Electronics.
“WebOS and its associated community deliver market leading platforms for the next generation of connected devices. We are constantly looking for opportunities to accelerate the delivery of this platform from the community. LG’s track record of innovation and broad distribution provides this opportunity, while enabling HP to accelerate our Cloud efforts. In particular, with the cloud assets that will remain with HP, we will focus on delivering innovative solutions that will enable our enterprise customers to mobilize their workforce,” said Bill Veghte , HP’s chief operating officer.