Ina Fried

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webOS Finds New Life Yet Again, This Time in LG Televisions

Like Morris the cat, webOS would appear to have nine lives.

morris 9 lives-feature

The operating system, developed by Palm and sold to Hewlett-Packard, is changing hands again.

Korean electronics giant LG is scooping up the technology and what remains of its development team. However it is LG’s television unit rather than its smartphone business that is acquiring the software.

It’s the latest twist in a long saga of the software developed to be the reinvention of a classic name in the mobile space.

Palm released its Pre and Pre 2 phones using webOS before selling to HP for more than $1 billion. The software, though well-received initially, languished amid a paucity of apps and the slow introduction of new products.

HP shipped the TouchPad tablet before essentially giving up on the business. HP had released some of the operating system last year under an open source license, and had held out the option of using the software in its own products down the road.

CNET reported the news on Monday morning, ahead of what was expected to be an official announcement later in the day. An LG spokesman wasn’t immediately prepared to discuss the deal, but the details appear to be correct.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald