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?

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.