Here's a wild one -- webOS has been revived, and the suitor may surprise you. LG has reportedly lifted the troubled webOS unit from HP's hands, but instead of using it in future smartphones or tablets, it's planning to inject the operating system across its smart TV portfolio -- finally adding a layer of truth to a rumor we first spotted in October of last year. The deal includes the source code for webOS, "related documentation, engineering talent, and related webOS websites." Moreover, LG's procuring HP licenses for use with its webOS wares, not to mention patents that HP had originally gained from Palm. Not surprisingly, dollars and cents aren't being publicly discussed, but we'll be sure to clue you in on any more specifics as we get them.
Update: The official PR has appeared, and can be found after the break. It doesn't shower us with additional info, but fans of Open webOS and Enyo should know that LG is assuming "stewardship" of these projects as part of the HP deal.
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LG Electronics Acquires webOS from HP to Enhance Smart TV
LG to License HP IP, Integrate webOS Technology into Next-Generation Devices
SEOUL, Korea, and PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 25, 2013 – LG Electronics Inc. has acquired the webOS operating system technology from HP, the companies announced today.
To support its next-generation Smart TV technology, LG has entered into a definitive agreement with HP to acquire the source code, associated documentation, engineering talent and related websites associated with webOS. As part of the transaction, LG also will 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.
Today's announcement paves the way for continued innovation on the webOS platform and on LG's roadmap of innovative solutions for many years to come, while allowing HP to focus its resources on strategic business opportunities such as cloud computing.
"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," said Skott Ahn, president and chief technology officer, LG Electronics Inc. "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."
Ahn explained that LG Electronics' investment in webOS technology and its acquisition of the innovation team's R&D capabilities are expected to extend LG's leadership in bringing Internet services directly to consumer electronics devices. "Integrated with LG, this team will be the heart and soul of the new LG Silicon Valley Lab, focused on bringing innovative technology solutions to market through the most popular platforms for sharing and consuming content and experiences," he said. With the transaction, LG will add the Sunnyvale and San Francisco sites to its global R&D locations, in addition to its existing U.S. sites in San Jose and Chicago.
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.
"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," said Bill Veghte, HP's chief operating officer. "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."
HP and LG do not expect this transaction to have a material impact on either company's financial statements. Terms were not disclosed.