Feb 252013
 
Palm Pre

Flickr Creative Commons photo by Ged Carroll.

WebOS. The mobile OS that I and everyone else had long left for dead, including HP after they finally killed it off. Even opening WebOS up as open source didn’t help, as even that community seems to have mostly moved on. But now, it looks like somebody actually wants to find a use for the mobile-OS-that-could(n’t): LG’s bought the rights to WebOS from HP.

LG plans on using WebOS to produce its line of “smart TVs” (TVs with app/Internet functionality built-in). It still plans on keeping it open-source, however. There doesn’t seem to be any indication of whether the Palm name itself is also now owned by LG.

It’s nice to see that somebody’s found a use for WebOS, especially long after it flopped on smartphones and tablets. I’m not too sold on the idea of a smart TV, myself; for me, a TV should be just that, with such online/app functionality in an external box (like the Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, etc.) that one can swap out (or repair) without also losing the TV. I’d also be concerned about software updates/maintenance. I suppose it’s for similar reasons I never warmed in the 1990s and 2000s to CRT TVs with built-in VCRs/DVD players.