The saga of WebOS has been running for years now. Palm was the first to roll out the OS as an attempt to compete with Apple and Google in the smartphone wars. Eventually Palm failed and HP bought the OS and Palm as a whole. That purchase of Palm and WebOS turned out to be very bad for HP with the company losing money in major fashion when its aspirations failed and it too sold off WebOS to another firm.
LG is the current owner of WebOS, but the fallout from the purchase and sell off of the operating system at HP is still ongoing. This week HP settled a class action suit brought against it by shareholders who were angry about HP for talking up its plans for Palm and WebOS only to abandon those long talked about plans a year after the purchase.
The settlement of the class action cost HP $57 million. That money will be paid out to the primary pension funds and other investors at big institutions that were angry that as HP was talking up its plans for WebOS publically, it was planning to shed the operating system privately. Part of the anger came from reports by HP employees that claim HP had no plans to build printers and other devices running WebOS until at least 2013.
Those statements from employees meant that HP wasn’t going to make good on the promise of flooding the market with products running WebOS. After paying out tens of millions of dollars to settle the class action, perhaps the WebOS chapter at HP is finally closed. It remains to be seen if LG will be successful with its WebOS plans that have to do with smart TVs. With no major smart TV OS powerhouse right now this may be the best chance for success for WebOS after it has failed consistently in other product categories.