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.
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