WebOS, the software developed by Palm to power its devices, has been sold off by HP. The U.S. technology giant announced the deal at the WMC today, which will see Korean electronics firm LG become the new proprietor of Palm’s technology, codes and staff.
Two weeks ago, HP said that any future mobile devices would run on Google’s Android OS–and today they unveiled the first fruits of that, the Slate 7 tablet. So, in that respect the news is not particularly surprising, but the result is a somewhat poignant ending for Palm’s OS.
The firm, founded by ex-Apple staffer Jon Rubenstein–he was the head of Hardware Engineering–was sold to HP for $1.2 billion back in 2010, and had won plaudits for its mobile devices, with its Palm Pilot PDA and Treo smartphone. While the software was great, some of Palm’s business strategy was less so and, post-HP acquisition, it continued to struggle, with Rubinstein and HP parting company in January 2012.
With LG investing almost two-thirds of a billion dollars on a new OLED TV production line in South Korea, it is betting big on next-generation TV. It’s already the second-largest TV set maker in the world, and it must have a big idea about what the WebOS special sauce will bring to people’s living rooms to make it the biggest.