HP sells webOS to LG for smart TVs

LG will acquire the mobile operating system's source code and engineering team

Hewlett-Packard has sold some of the rights to its webOS mobile operating system to LG Electronics for use in smart television sets made by the South Korean electronics firm.

LG has agreed to acquire the source code, webOS engineering team and other assets from HP, in a deal announced Monday, the companies said in a press release. LG will license webOS products from HP in the deal.

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

HP acquired the mobile operating system, along with device maker Palm, in a deal announced in February 2010. HP used the operating system on its short-lived TouchPad device, which debuted in mid-2011 then disappeared weeks later.

HP announced a new tablet, the US$169 Slate 7, on Sunday. The Slate 7 will run the Android operating system.

LG will lead the Open WebOS and Enyo open-source projects as part of the deal, the company said. HP will retain ownership of all of Palm's cloud computing assets, including source code, talent, infrastructure and contracts.

HP will also continue to support Palm users.

The deal will allow for continued development of the webOS operating system, and will drive forward LG's efforts to bring Internet services to consumer electronics, LG said.

"This groundbreaking development demonstrates LG's commitment to investing in talent and research in Silicon Valley, one of the world's innovation hotbeds," Skott Ahn, LG's president and CTO, said in a statement. "It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices."

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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Tags business issuesconsumer electronicsLG ElectronicsMobile OSesSkott AhnmobileHewlett-PackardMergers and acquisitions

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