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LG strikes deal to buy webOS from HP

25 Feb 2013

HP has agreed to sell the rights to its webOS mobile operating system to LG in what the companies hope will be a rebirth for the platform on connected devices.

The company said that the deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, will give LG control over the webOS software platform along with the Open webOS and Enyo projects. HP, meanwhile, will retain ownership of webOS cloud-based efforts.

LG said that it plans to use the platform to power its next generations of connected devices. The company said that webOS could run on devices including smart TV sets and other consumer electronics hardware.

In addition to gaining access to the webOS source code and documentation, LG said that it would be taking on the engineering and development staff from the project.

"It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices," said LG president and chief technology officer Skott Ahn.

"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."

HP, meanwhile, is planning to continue to develop its mobile cloud operation separate from the WebOS platform.

"LG's track record of innovation and broad distribution provides this opportunity, while enabling HP to accelerate our cloud efforts," said HP chief operating officer Bill Veghte.

"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 mobilise their workforce."

The move marks the latest turn in HP's ill-fated venture into the mobile market. The company in 2010 acquired Palm with the aim of using the firm as the basis for a line of mobile handsets and tablets.

After a slow start, however, then-boss Leo Apotheker discontinued HP's mobile hardware business and threw the future of the platform into limbo. Later, the company said that it was looking to spin the platform off as a new company.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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