LG buys WebOS

The promising but under-developed WebOS looks like it is going to get a second chance at life after all after LG wrote a cheque and picked it up from the maker of expensive printer ink HP.

HP grabbed the OS when it acquired Palm. Coincidently both HP and Palm believed that the mobile operating system could save their companies. HP released the Pre and the TouchPad tablet before realising that the OS required more work than it could be bothered with.

LG apparently is not daft enough to think that it is a good idea to take on Android with the OS. Instead it sees it as ideal for smart televisions. With the deal, LG obtains the source code for WebOS, related documentation, engineering talent, and related WebOS websites. LG also gets HP licences for use with its WebOS products, and patents HP obtained from Palm, CNET reports.

This future is better than many predicted for WebOS. HP had dumped it in the open source graveyard and had left it for dead.

LG had been looking at the platform for use in its tellies for a while. A web-based operating system has a lot of good things going for it, if it is not too stressed, which it would be if it was used for mobile or tablets.

LG’s biggest problem is that most of HP’s WebOS team have cleaned out their desks and found something more productive to do with their time.

This makes the company’s claim that the WebOS team will make up the “heart and soul” of the new LG Silicon Valley Lab, sound a little hollow. But maybe if they are on a mission from God they can get the band back together.