It was only a few years ago that a lot of people hoped Palm’s WebOS would be the next big thing in the smartphone market. Unfortunately, the operating system proved to be unpopular and HP eventually purchased Palm and the operating system with big plans of building tablets powered by WebOS. The tablets proved unpopular leaving HP with a huge amount of money spent on Palm and very little return on that investment.
Word has surfaced that HP has finally sold WebOS and LG has purchased the operating system. It seems LG has no plans to use WebOS in the tablet or smartphone market, rather the company plans to use the operating system to power smart TVs. The purchase not only gets the operating system, but some engineering talent behind the scenes as well.
There is still some confusion on the deal between LG and HP. Last year HP spun off most of the remaining members of the WebOS software team to a new company called Gram. It’s unclear at this point if Gram is now owned by LG or whether it will remain part of HP.
With WebOS having failed at every turn over the years, its success as a smart TV operating system is far from guaranteed. All we know this time is that LG now owns the source code, all related documentation, engineers, and websites relating to WebOS. Only time will tell if LG’s purchase was a good idea. There’s no indication of what the deal is worth at this time.