SAN FRANCISCO – Hewlett-Packard on Monday said it is selling its webOS mobile operating system to South Korean consumer electronics titan LG to use in Internet-connected televisions.
“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,” said LG Electronics chief technology officer Skott Ahn.
“It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices.”
Word of the deal came with news that HP in April will release an Android tablet computer, tightening its relationship with Internet giant Google.
The Slate 7 tablet synched to Google’s popular online products and services is being introduced as the leading computer maker strives to adapt to Internet lifestyles shifting from desktop or laptop machines to mobile devices.
The seven-inch Slate will debut in the United States in about two months at a price of $169.
“To address the growing interest in tablets among consumers and businesses alike, HP will offer a range of form factors and leverage an array of operating systems,” said HP mobility business unit senior vice president Alberto Torres.
“Our new HP Slate7 on Android represents a compelling entry point for consumer tablets, while our ground-breaking, business-ready HP ElitePad on Windows 8 is ideal for enterprises and governments.”
WebOS is to remain open source under the terms of the sale to LG, which planned to use the software in Internet-connected televisions rather than in mobile gadgets.
LG also said it is acquiring the webOS team from HP as it ramps up its investment in research and development in Silicon Valley. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
HP acquired webOS as part of its $1.2 billion purchase of Palm in 2010.
HP used webOS to power a TouchPad tablet model that flopped after its release in 2011.
Citing disappointing sales, HP announced it was discontinuing the TouchPad just seven weeks after it hit the market.
HP last year made webOS open source, meaning that developers anywhere can tinker with it as they wish and it will be available for anyone to use free of charge. LG said that webOS will continue to be open source software.
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