Feeds

LG to bring Palm's webOS BACK FROM THE DEAD in TVs next week – report

Can Korean chaebol succeed where Palm and HP failed?

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

South Korean electronics giant LG plans to debut its first smart TV based on the webOS operating system next week, industry insiders claim.

Citing an unnamed source, the Wall Street Journal reports that the webOS-powered boob tube will be unveiled at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, due to run from January 7 through 10.

LG bought the rights to the webOS platform in February from HP, which had struggled to find a use for the technology since landing it as part of its 2010 acquisition of Palm for $1.2bn.

Palm developed the OS for use in smartphones and fondleslabs, but the devices it brought to market met with lukewarm reception among consumers and app developers alike. HP's follow-on TouchPad tablet barely got a chance to prove itself before then-CEO Léo Apotheker binned the entire product line.

For a while, HP pretended webOS still had a bold future at the company, going as far as to claim the technology would ship as a UI for every HP-branded PC and printer. But those plans never came to fruition, and it soon became clear that HP's webOS efforts were essentially stillborn.

Enter LG. The Korean chaebol announced in February that it had spent an undisclosed sum to acquire not just the source code, documentation, and intellectual property rights to webOS, but also the team of HP engineers that had been working on the platform.

The catch was that, contrary to assumptions, LG said it wasn't interested in webOS for its smartphones, which so far have run Google's Android OS. Instead, it planned to use the technology to revamp the UI on its line of smart TVs.

"The open and transparent webOS technology offers a compelling user experience that, when combined with our own technology, will pave the way for future innovations using the latest Web technologies," LG CTO Skott Ahn said in a statement at the time.

Here at Vulture Annex in San Francisco, we can't help but think the move could be a step in the right direction. Smart TV is still a relatively young market, and we've yet to see a UI for one of these devices that we'd describe as user-friendly.

According to the WSJ's sources, LG plans to retain webOS's "cards" UI approach, which was one of the more popular aspects of Palm's latter-day smartphones.

Then again, maybe LG should worry less about the "user experience" of its devices and do more about fixing the hidden, invasive aspects of its smart TVs. Recent reports have revealed that LG TVs regularly "phone home" to report on user viewing habits – a fact that LG has reportedly marketed to advertising partners.

LG has promised to disable some of these "features" on its existing TVs with firmware updates. What data it plans to collect from its webOS-based sets, however, remains to be seen. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.