Firefox OS is built on HTML 5, a fact Mozilla hopes will distinguish it from other platforms that take a more mixed approach to supporting the standard. Ironically, HP’s WebOS also based its differentiation on a deeper embrace of HTML5 than its competitors.
LG Electronics will fold the WebOS technology and engineering staff into its smart TV efforts. LG acquired the WebOS source code, documentation and engineering teams. Ironically, LG also is one of the companies committed to making handsets with Firefox OS.
LG will get licenses for WebOS patents HP acquired from Palm for the OS and user interface. HP will retain ownership of Palm’s cloud computing assets, including source code, talent, infrastructure and contracts, and it will continue to support Palm users.
The WebOS team will become “the heart and soul of the new LG Silicon Valley Lab,” said Skott Ahn, president of LG Electronics Inc., speaking in a press statement. Specifically, LG will add Sunnyvale, Calif., and San Francisco sites to its global R&D locations, in addition to its existing U.S. sites in San Jose and Chicago.
The new software assets come at a time when LG is also ramping up its efforts to design its own family of SoCs for its smart TVs.
The companies did not disclose terms of the deal but said they were not material. HP bought Palm for $1.2 billion in early 2010 to acquire its WebOS for mobile devices. The company is now edging toward a mixed portfolio of Android and Windows systems.
The story of the collapse of PalmOS will make a cautionary business case lesson for anyone in the world of Internet innovation. How did the leading PDA interface manage to decline into a "hot potato" for HP to hand off?
"Hewlett-Packard sold WebOS to LG Electronics, which will re-purpose it for its smart TVs."
It is very interesting. What's so good in WebOS for Smart TV application that Android is unable to offer?
Firefox goes mobile is interesting. There might be a lot of attention and developers would like it. Ubuntu tablet will draw a lot of attention too. I wonder when I can download and build my own Ubuntu mobile or Firefox mobile.
May be Firefox should have just stuck to making the best browsers for any platform instead of jumping into the game over arena for OSes. As far as WebOs goes I think LG could turn it into something useful for non-handset devices where the space is still open.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.