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LG Acquires WebOS Source Code and Patents From HP

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the gobbled-up dept.

HP 80

An anonymous reader writes "LG is set to breathe new life into the webOS platform after the company announced today that it has acquired the software and its intellectual property from HP. The news comes after HP abandoned webOS device and software development in August 2011, then open-sourced the platform so that developers might be able to salvage something from the software that was widely acclaimed, despite the lack of smartphone and tablet sales which it powered. LG now claims complete ownership of the webOS source code, its documentation and webOS websites. It has obtained HP licenses, as well as the patents that Palm transferred to its owner when it was acquired in 2010."

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The Curse is transferred (4, Funny)

swschrad (312009) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006449)

HP must be breathing a sigh of relief. I hope LG didn't pay much, because they'll now need to hoard every penny they find.

Re:The Curse is transferred (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006493)

HP must be breathing a sigh of relief. I hope LG didn't pay much, because they'll now need to hoard every penny they find.

Or, conversely, maybe it has a chance to thrive if it's being maintained by people who have an idea of what to do with it?

I don't know much about WebOS, but the fact that HP basically mis-managed it and did a half assed job is more about HP.

Now, as to whether anybody is actually going to be interested in yet-another-operating-system ... who knows.

Re:The Curse is transferred (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43006699)

if you "don't know much about WebOS", then how do you know HP's mismanagement was to blame?

Re:The Curse is transferred (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006789)

if you "don't know much about WebOS", then how do you know HP's mismanagement was to blame?

Because HP have been mismanaging themselves for years.

Seriously, google "hp mismanaged webos" -- the fact they did a piss-poor job of bringing to market and doing anything with it is pretty well documented.

I don't need to be up to date on the specifics of the OS to have seen the news coverage over the last few years. HP selling their tablets for $99 and discontinuing them is a pretty good clue.

Re:The Curse is transferred (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43007645)

Because HP is an ink company, not an OS company.

Re:The Curse is transferred (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009393)

if you "don't know much about WebOS", then how do you know HP's mismanagement was to blame?

Because they released a tablet and killed all WebOS products the next week?

Re:The Curse is transferred (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012431)

if you "don't know much about WebOS", then how do you know HP's mismanagement was to blame?

Oooh oooh I know. Because "HP" and "mismanagement" are in the same sentence.

Wow, that was a no-brainer.

Re:The Curse is transferred (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006755)

Not sure it's mismanaged so much as "decided to suddenly stop for no apparent reason" - the CEO at the time wanting to turn HP into a software/services company. In that light, it's not immediately obvious what LG could do with it that would make things right.

There's also something else you should consider. Back in the mid-nineties, a company called Gateway bought the assets of a bankrupt Commodore, making fans of the Amiga temporarily very excited thinking that a major PC maker was about to rescue the most innovative personal computer platform. Gateway was doing well, the Amiga's problem was mismanagement, and finally, thought many people, the Amiga might stand a chance of returning to its former glories and lead position.

Did that happen? Did it bollocks. Gateway just wanted the patents. And with LG buying the rights, but so far as I can tell none of the people, and with LG producing smartphones and tablets in an atmosphere in which companies are able to get billion dollar judgments against their competitors over the infringment of dubious patents, LG needs a portfolio to protect its mobile business.

So don't bet on any of this meaning LG is going to hire Palm/HP staffers and start building webOS tablets. This looks like a Gateway play, not an Escom play.

Re:The Curse is transferred (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006961)

Not sure it's mismanaged so much as "decided to suddenly stop for no apparent reason"

After spending billions to buy it in the first place.

If you're spending billions to only turn around and decide you want to be going in a different direction -- well, that's kind of a problem with management isn't it? Billions of dollars isn't exactly chump change.

So don't bet on any of this meaning LG is going to hire Palm/HP staffers and start building webOS tablets.

Of course they're not. For starters, most of those staffers aren't even at HP any more, and TFA even says they have no intention of doing that:

LG has no intent to use WebOS for its smartphones, with the company largely focused on Android as its mobile operating system of choice. Indeed, much of the WebOS team members that work on the various mobile products at HP has already left, according to a person familiar with the deal.

This isn't going to be LG saving a failed HP product, this is someone who is buying the property and using it for something else. LG doesn't give a damn about people who got stuck with WebOS tablets, and they're not planning on being the savior of anybody hoping for an update.

I'm simply talking about whether someone can actually make use of this code which was touted as being full of awesomeness.

Re:The Curse is transferred (1)

swb (14022) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007177)

IIRC, Blackberry's newest OS allows for some way to run Android apps.

If LG can figure out how to make that kind of translation work, this may end up looking semi-smart for them. I think the smartphone vendors are a little touchy about being beholden to Google for Android and there's not an easy way out short of starting from scratch.

webOS may be closer to scratch than customizing Android, but if the same effort results in an OS they control (and can possibly license to others..) that also runs Android apps, they may have something.

And it may be something they use to sell semi-smartphones -- something cheaper and more stripped down than a full-on smartphone that someone normally only in the featurephone category may find appealing, or some kind of rebrandable OEM hardware play for a company like Facebook who has been linked to a "Facebook phone".

Android Apps on webOS (2)

DrYak (748999) | about a year and a half ago | (#43008145)

Indeed webOS can benefit a lot from running Android apps. (A whole ecosystem to leverage). And it shouldn't be that much difficult: webOS is almost a complete classical linux stack under the hood (save for the interface) and others, such as Canonical with their iterations of "running Android Apps on Ubuntu" or "running Android and Ubuntu alongside", have proven that Android Apps on a any generic Linux isn't impossible.

Best part?
It's ALREADY happening.
for example: openmobile [openmobile.co] do have an Android Compatibility Layer.

LG could indeed re-use webOS (specially: they've got the openWebOS community working for them), license openmobile's ACL, and voilÃ, they have a google-free alternative to android, which can also run the same apps and benefit from the same ecosystem, but on the other hand, doesn't depend on google, and offers something different (in order to distiguish themselves from the hundreds of other android smartphone makers. just like HTC is distinguishing themselves with their HTC Sense interface)

Also don't forget that the "other" hot thing currently is HTML5 based applications (Windows 8 is betting a lot on that as a smartphone OS, but Firefox and Chrome have also be showcasing webapps a lot) and webOS has been using web-standards-based applications from DAY 1.

So if the HTML5/Javascript start to gain any traction, webOS is already a first class citizen and a very attractive platform to bet on, being able to tap into 2 different echo-systems (both android and HTML5 apps).

(And given the efforts that Google has invested into ChromeOS and Chromebooks, you can bet that they'll try to push this ecosystem too)

Re:The Curse is transferred (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43011953)

As long as you can get the Dalvik VM to run, you can get Android apps to run (as long as they do not include native libs for whatever reason).

webOS is open sourced (1)

DrYak (748999) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007871)

There's one subbtle difference between then and now:
sometime in between, the wonderful world of "opensource" has happened.

Amiga's wonderful OS was still an old-style of proprietary software, and also heavily depended on some hardware components exclusive to Amiga machine.
Whoever controls the software and the hardware controls Amiga's rekown wonders. If gateway choose to buy Amiga, but then throw it in the garbage and only keep the patent port-folio: all the wonders are lost forever and the platform is dead.

On the other hand, webOS is (unlike Android, but like most other OSes like Meego/Meamo/Tizen, or OpenMoko's FSO, or QTopia, etc.) a full Linux stack. Meaning that most component under the hood are opensource and already available everywhere (most of the "magic" is available to any geek with enough motivation).
Not only that, but HP had even the decency to opensource the latest components of webOS which were proprietary and developed at Palm: openWebOS is out there, fully available.

Even if some of the "wonders" that the Palm/HP Pre family brought out are hardware (the inductive charging TouchStone comes to mind) hardware plays a little role in the whole experience and is independent of the other advantages. webOS was mostly praised for its nice interface (making it easy to do meaningful multi-tasking on a portable device) for its integrative synchronisation mechanism (Synergy can very elegantly mix data from several source: google, facebook, linkedin, etc. and can completly abstract them for the other application: the chat application doesn't give a damn where the message are coming from as long as Synergy has a proper account configured), etc.

All these "gems" are AVAILABLE today in openwebos. If these "wonders" are really worth it, any motivated party can today take over and start playing with them. Unlike Amiga and Gateway, we are not at LG's whim regarding the future of webOS.
So if the community is motivated enough, they can help webOS move forward without any initial corporate backing.
(if you look at it: webOS has currently already been ported to various android devices)

So I'm not personally that much afraid even if LG decides not to use webOS on their phones.

Re:The Curse is transferred (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43008997)

If you read other FAs, you note that they are also acquiring the engineering departments that aren't part of the cloud services.

Impossible hopes of Amiga fans same as WebOS'? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009837)

Back in the mid-nineties, a company called Gateway bought the assets of a bankrupt Commodore, making fans of the Amiga temporarily very excited thinking that a major PC maker was about to rescue the most innovative personal computer platform. Gateway was doing well, the Amiga's problem was mismanagement, and finally, thought many people, the Amiga might stand a chance of returning to its former glories and lead position. Did that happen? Did it bollocks. Gateway just wanted the patents.

Interesting (and perceptive) comparison. However, in a way that might mirror today's position with WebOS, the fans' hopes were probably blinding them to the fact that- realistically- it was probably too late to save the Amiga market by 1997, even if Gateway had wanted to.

By early 1993, the Amiga (which had been European hobbyists' and gamers' machine of choice in the late 80s and early 90s) was noticably losing ground to cheap clone PCs at the high end, and 16-bit consoles at the other. The "evolution not revolution" A1200 was a catch-up at best. When C= went bankrupt in mid-94, it was no longer dominant and losing mainstream support, then it languished for a year until Escom bought it. They proposed relaunching the near 3-year-old A1200 at £100 *more* than its pre-bankruptcy price (**), and even I knew it was over.

By the time of Gateway's purchase, the Amiga had already been left behind and only serious fans (and the few remaining video professionals who hadn't yet migrated to the PC) were still using it. Windows 95 had long replaced the sub-Amiga Windows 3.1, and the PlayStation had moved gaming on. Gateway would have had to seriously modernise the Amiga hardware to even "keep up" with the 1997 market, and since by that time the format had lost support and dominance it would have had to be *better* than the ruthlessly cheap commodity PC clones to justify choosing.

I suppose they *might* have considered using it as the basis of cheap hardware driving Internet set-top boxes (yeah, I know, but they didn't know those would be a flop back then), but such boxes wouldn't necessarily have been "Amigas". In any case they'd really just have been milking the existing hardware (and probably ditching the OS).

The Amiga *was* mismanaged by Commodore, but the "event horizon" for coming back from that was probably well over five years before Gateway took over.

Perhaps- over a shorter timescale- this reflects the situation with WebOS; the battle is already lost, the fans just can't see it?

(*) I remember this shift because I bought an Amiga in early 1992, when everyone was still exchanging Amiga games, and around a year later it had noticably shifted towards the PC
(**) They claimed they had to do this to make a profit. Well, that might have been true, but it still wasn't going to sell at that price.

Re:The Curse is transferred (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43011929)

The problem for HP, and what struck Nokia as well, was boardroom meddling.

The CEO and the board did not see eye to eye, and the CEO was ousted to boost short term profits for the shareholders vs long term plans for the company as a whole.

End result are companies flip flopping between short term goals, with no clear cut long term destination to grasp for.

ovo -hoot

Re:The Curse is transferred (1)

Northern Pike (308389) | about a year and a half ago | (#43016789)

And with LG buying the rights, but so far as I can tell none of the people...

So don't bet on any of this meaning LG is going to hire Palm/HP staffers...

Can't say I understand why LG would pay much for WebOS (must have been cheap) but according to this reference they are acquiring the developers as well: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/02/26/tech-hewlett-packard-lg-webos.html

Re:The Curse is transferred (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | about a year and a half ago | (#43018019)

Except that they DID buy the people, and they only have a licensing agreement for the patents.

Re:The Curse is transferred (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43118787)

Wow you must be at least as old as me
to remember all this.

Re:The Curse is transferred (1)

ewhac (5844) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007163)

Or, conversely, maybe it has a chance to thrive if it's being maintained by people who have an idea of what to do with it?

That was supposed to be the whole point of spinning off WebOS in the first place.

Barely two years ago, HP gave WebOS a modest nest egg and spun them off into its own independent entity (which, from the point of view of WebOS, was a good move, given how badly HP has been mismanaged over the last decade). They shared/leased some of HP's organizational infrastructure, but WebOS has been pretty much on its own since then. They definitely had/have a vision, and they've definitely been executing on it.

I'm not sure what value LG's ownership brings to WebOS -- or indeed what value WebOS brings to LG. But at least now the WebOS guys will be able to get employee discounts on nice flat panels :-).

Re:The Curse is transferred (1, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007571)

If it is to survive they need to completely Open source it.

Android will utterly destroy it in the commercial world, HP already discovered that. WebOS has zero chance as a product unless it is reworked as a Closed device OS for ATM's or Single Task products. But even then it will completely die. That world is already owned by QNX.

Re:The Curse is transferred (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009429)

Your view of the future of computing is particularly gloomy.

Re:The Curse is transferred (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43007005)

LG probably just wanted the patents.

Re:The Curse is transferred (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43010741)

LG may have also wanted some good engineers, which were encumbered by WebOS knowledge. Same reason Palm bought the Be assets. Sometimes it is all about the IP.

Can they do that? (2)

Maximalist (949682) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006459)

How can they open source the code, then flog it to somebody else who claims "complete ownership"? What license did they release the open source branch under?

Re:Can they do that? (5, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006503)

Because they own it.

I could release Whizbang 1.0, have it flop then GPL Whizbang 1.5. When LG comes knocking I sell them Whizbang and all associated marks. That does not mean Whizbang 1.5 is no longer GPL, just that new versions are not going to be.

Re:Can they do that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43006717)

As long as new versions are coded from the ground up?

Re:Can they do that? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006781)

No need to do that at all.
They can reissue any version with any license they like.

Re:Can they do that? (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006915)

Nope.

LG, I believe, wouldn't be able to retroactively revoke the OSS licensing of the previous versions - it's out in the wild with that licensing. However, the owner can license any version/revision any way they want.

Re:Can they do that? (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007181)

Exactly.. this is one case where getting FORKED is a good thing!

Re:Can they do that? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009433)

Exactly.. this is one case where getting FORKED is a good thing!

There are cases where it's a bad thing?

Re:Can they do that? (3, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007301)

They don't have to revoke anything. They have copyright.

I own copyright on book X.

I license A to produce 200 copies for resale
I license B to make a made for TV movie with unlimited distribution and I get a cut.

A can't use B's license and B can't use A's license.

Copyright holders can release things on as many licenses as they want.

fork it (1)

swschrad (312009) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007347)

reverse-engineer all the shiny you want into Bang-n-Whiz all you want after you run off in your own corner with Whizbang 1.5

Yes and no (webOS is a regular Linux distro) (2)

DrYak (748999) | about a year and a half ago | (#43008467)

In theory you're correct:

LG can't control the GPLed copies which are already "in the wild", those will remain GPLed and can still be distributed under this license. LG only decide what they do with their own copy and all future development they do on this.

In practice, there's something to take into account:
Unlike Android, and like any other Linux-based smartphone OS (Meego/Maemo/Tizen, openmoko's FSo and SHR, QTopia, etc.) webOS is pretty much as standart GNU/Linux stack under the hood.
The only proprietary bits is the stack-of-cards-based UI, and Synergy.
Evertything else is the same GPLed components that you already have in your Ubuntu.

So in practice LG doesn't have control over much of the code. Neither they, nor HP, nor Palm own it.
They only have full control over Luna, Enyo and Synergy.

Re:Can they do that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43006543)

This is called "the free market". LG is lucky HP only sold it once.

Re:Can they do that? (1)

ScienceofSpock (637158) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006557)

Yeah, I don't get this either. How did they open source it, then sell it to LG who is now claiming complete ownership?

Re:Can they do that? (2)

Junta (36770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006683)

One: I don't think they ever fully open sourced every last bit.

Two: Either way, the copyright holder can always do whatever they want. If some proprietary component got open sourced, the community can fork the specifically open sourced vintages with impunity, but the component can be closed again for future development.

The last bit = openWebOS (2)

DrYak (748999) | about a year and a half ago | (#43008355)

One: I don't think they ever fully open sourced every last bit.

Well actually, the "last bit" *IS* the only thing to opensource in webOS.

Unlike Android, but like most other Linux based OSes (Meamo/Meego/Tizen, OpenMoko's FSO, QTopia, etc.) webOS is pretty much a standard Linux stack under the hood, saved for their peculiar stack-of-cards-based user interface, and their account info snychronising system Synergy.

the "last bit" was the only thing setting appart webOS from, say, Ubuntu.
So when webOSt was open sourced into openWebOS, this last bit is what actually got opensourced.

Well, mostly. If you want to nit-pick, webOS uses an unusual closed source stack for Bluetooth. But Linux has a very nice BlueZ stack which work already. I think that replacing the proprietary stack with BlueZ was on openwebos roadmap, although I don't remember how far they got with this point.

Any way, the final openWebOS version 1.0 has been out for a while and with it (roughly) everything you need to make your own webOS device is available as you can see with the various ports to the Google Nexus family of devices.

Re:The last bit = openWebOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43009069)

Well, much of the javascript based service architecture has not been released as open source (yet? may not ever be? might be? who knows? no one really knows i guess right now)

Re:Can they do that? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006845)

LG is free to create a fork with their fork becoming proprietary since they own the copyright.

Re:Can they do that? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007321)

They licensed it under open source. They sold copyright. LG has complete ownership that doesn't change the pre-existing license.

Re:Can they do that? (0)

shia84 (1985626) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007325)

They did fully open source WebOS, and the sourcecode you downloaded to your hard drive stays GPL.
However, they own the copyright on all code and can freely choose whatever license they want at any point. If it's proprietary, you are not allowed to download it from their webpage again and redistribute it freely, even though you already have exact copy of that very same code. The changes you make to your GPL piece of code stay GPLd and you can publish them to the public for comment/usage/improvement/distribution. The changes to LGs proprietary piece of code stay proprietary, thus the code bases diverge with time.

One policy many FOSS projects have (e.g. the Linux kernel) is to spread copyright over many different contributors such that no single entity can take control of it and try any shenanigans (or at least has to buy up every single copyright).
But also note that we don't know even know yet if LG is going to relicense the code to something proprietary or keep it open.

Re:Can they do that? (0)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#43008787)

they can do it the same way you can multilicense code the original bits are open source and stay that way they just sold the copyright so if lg chooses new versions are under whatever terms they like unless it is from the older opensource version.

Re:Can they do that? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009351)

Sun open sourced a bunch of stuff but held the patents and copyright. Oracle now owns those.

In webos' case HP are selling only a software division, not themselves as Sun did.

Re:Can they do that? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43006701)

Who said open-source software must stay open source forever?

Re:Can they do that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43006963)

Erm, ... the license.

By definition.

Re:Can they do that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43007025)

The version that was open sourced is open sourced forever, sure, but if LG owns the copyright they can re-license it as they choose and create derivative versions based on the relicensed code.

The only reason this doesn't work for, e.g., the Linux kernel is that Linus deliberately doesn't have contributors do copyright assignment, so the copyright is held by everyone who has ever written a line of code that is currently in the kernel, and you can't make all those people agree on anything, ever, let alone a relicense.

Re:Can they do that? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007539)

Not likely for linux, but not impossible with fewer contributors. Sourceforge was originally released as open source software. After VA Linux decided that was their only hope to make money, they asked all the outside contributors to sign over their copyrights. If they refused (or couldn't be found), their code was removed. VA Linux then had full copyright control and closed sourced it. Savannah continued as an open-source fork.

Re:Can they do that? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007331)

Only if it was GPLed. WebOS is licensed under the Apache license. Which is not a copyleft license, IIRC

Re:Can they do that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43007073)

Stallman. All hail the smelly one! All hail the eater of foot candy!

Re:Can they do that? (0)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007359)

How can they open source the code, then flog it to somebody else who claims "complete ownership"? What license did they release the open source branch under?

Presumably they sold the copyrights, trademarks, etc. Sure, LG could have forked it, but that doesn't mean they could call it webOS. And keep in mind if you fork a project that does NOT mean you own the code.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43006473)

LG is still alive somewhere

LG is not just Alive (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006613)

LG is still alive somewhere

...its thriving after ditching windows phone, and the Nexus 4 I believe has been [too] sold out since launch.

Re:LG is not just Alive (1)

rmstar (114746) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006933)

...and the Nexus 4 I believe has been [too] sold out since launch.

I foresee that here will be quite some trouble when they finally release the Nexus-6...

Re:LG is not just Alive (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010219)

...and the Nexus 4 I believe has been [too] sold out since launch.

I foresee that here will be quite some trouble when they finally release the Nexus-6...

Damn, I could use a Pris model.

Re:LG is not just Alive (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year and a half ago | (#43013031)

...and the Nexus 4 I believe has been [too] sold out since launch.

I foresee that here will be quite some trouble when they finally release the Nexus-6...

Damn, I could use a Pris model.

Don't. There's a major design fault - they turn into men whenever they do rapid backflips.

Turn, turn, turn... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43006511)

Next week HP will be announcing their acquisition of LG, in order to secure ownership of WebOS which they will see as a vital part of their future growth plans.

Re:Turn, turn, turn... (4, Funny)

Junta (36770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43006725)

No, next week is Whitman stepping down and a new CEO. LG acquisition is the week *after* that. HP only changes their mind as often as they change leadership, so it takes a couple weeks for a complete about face on any given move.

Re:Turn, turn, turn... (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007233)

So who do you think the next CEO is going to be? I hear they're courting the Wachowskys. I can see the HP commercials now... "There's a splinter in your brain..."

Interesting...but.... (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007101)

WebOS is a really good OS. I grabbed one of those HP Touchpads and was very impressed by the OS. But...there aren't any good Apps for it. And I don't see why anyone would want to start writing them. At this point it's basically a two horse race - iOS and Android. It would be nice to see a WebOS update for my Touchpad but I'm not holding my breath.

Re:Interesting...but.... (1)

ilikenwf (1139495) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007253)

If OpenMobile would drop ACL to non-OEM people we'd be able to run Android apps within WebOS.

Re:Interesting...but.... (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007269)

I'm not sure what OS LG has on their Blu-ray players, but whatever it is WebOS has gotta be an upgrade.

And yes their current OS does have an app store, with apps, that suck.

Re:Interesting...but.... (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007435)

WebOS is a really good OS. I grabbed one of those HP Touchpads and was very impressed by the OS. But...there aren't any good Apps for it. And I don't see why anyone would want to start writing them. At this point it's basically a two horse race - iOS and Android. It would be nice to see a WebOS update for my Touchpad but I'm not holding my breath.

You are aware that there is a Cyanogenmod version of Android for the Touchpad. I loaded Android on the Touchpads that I bought for Christmas presents during the fire sale. It works well. The last problem that needed to be solved was getting the camera working. I believe that this may have been finally resolved for Cyanogenmod v9.

Re:Interesting...but.... (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007741)

Yes and it works really well on my Touchpad too. That was the saving grace and kept it from becoming a digital photo frame :-)

Re:Interesting...but.... (1)

alexandre_ganso (1227152) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007843)

It has been solved for a while, and works well. You can use the camera app or skype as on any other android device.

Re:Interesting...but.... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007597)

There are a lot of incoming players in the mobile market based on qt/qml libraries, as webos, it could bring new apps for all of them.

Re:Interesting...but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43007987)

So which one you are impressed, Linux operating system used in WebOS or the graphical user interface what WebOS really is?

Re:Interesting...but.... (2)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year and a half ago | (#43008149)

I was impressed with WebOS. It seems very well thought out and smooth. I was less impressed with the selection of WebOS Apps available though. About half of them seemed to be designed for a phone rather than a tablet so all you saw was this tiny window instead of a full screen program. Cyanogenmod (the Linux OS you are referring to) runs really well although you have to jump through a few hoops to get it to work with Google Play. Once that is working, all the Android Apps are available to you. The issue with the camera appears to have been fixed.

Re:Interesting...but.... (1, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007993)

Where is the SDK?

Don't forget all the patents of Palm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43007481)

In case of future lawsuits the Palm Patents are pretty strong and very well dated before any iPhone.... Engadget did a pretty good job at looking at just some of the patents...

http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/28/apple-vs-palm-the-in-depth-analysis/

trust me.. this is big legally and hopefully great for WebOS... it was ahead of it's time and didn't have enough time to mature and have compiled sandboxes for programs.

Palm Products (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43007567)

I'd like to see them bring the Palm name back. It would make my month if they'd also release a new TREO device. I still miss my 650 sometimes with its stylus and keyboard.

TV OS? (4, Interesting)

slapout (93640) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007589)

The rumor I heard was that they were going to use it in their TVs.

About all those patents... (2)

sillivalley (411349) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007619)

Yeah, LG just acquired all those patents from HP/Palm...
But what did it get? If you imagine each of those patents to be a pie, did LG get the whole pie on each one it got?

Hell no.

First, HP undoubtedly retained a license to practice under each of the patents, to make, use, sell, have made, have customers use, yada, yada, yada.
Next, LG took those patents under whatever licenses and cross-licenses HP (and Palm) had entered into with other companies.
So while LG acquired a bunch of patents, each of those patents has a chunk or two taken out of it. LG undoubtedly didn't get the whole pie.

Patent Mayhem (1)

DrYak (748999) | about a year and a half ago | (#43008245)

Well currently patents are used to fling lawsuits at each other among various smart-phone makers (with Apple being apparently among the most noisy one).

As HP has definitely decided to abandon the idea of producing their own webOS based smartphones, it doesn't matter if LG has full exclusive ownership on the patents, or if HP has retained a right to use them.
There's currently no chance that LG will ever need to be able to use these patents against HP, they are not in the same market.

What matters is that LG has now a patent portfolio with which to answer back to Apple, should they become the victims of the next lawsuite-du-jour.

apache licence (2)

kwikrick (755625) | about a year and a half ago | (#43007933)

Open webOS is released under Apache License Version 2.0 (http://apache.org/licenses/)

The Apache licence grants you the right to make and distribute copies, but does not require you to distribute the source code with a binary distribution.
So LG can fork the code and that code will probably not be made available, only the binaries. They own the forked code completely. It will live a separate life from Open webOS.

Also, the licence says:

"If You institute patent litigation against any entity( ...) alleging that the Work( ...) constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, then any patent licenses granted to You under this License for that Work shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed."

So if LG uses the patents used in webUS against anyone, say Apple, then LG loses the right to use those patents? So LG can't use those patents? That's what is seems to say, but maybe I don't get legal speak.

Rick

Re:apache licence (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009253)

No, because LG owns the code. They can use it under any license they want, they aren't restricted by the Apache license. See this thread for a bigger explanation. [slashdot.org]

Re:apache licence (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009467)

No, LG has no intention of releasing anything web-OS related. All that is irrelevant.

Re:apache licence (1)

bloggerhater (2439270) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009995)

Negative. The lines you quoted are from the open licence and do not apply to the original rights holders. It only applies to those working with the publicly released code.

Re:apache licence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43013629)

No, the lines you quoted apply only to the rights to the patents as granted by that license. They have purchased the patents outright, in a deal that is not covered or affected in any way by that license.

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