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PreCentral: HP to keep webOS cloud services; LG open to maybe someday extending webOS beyond TV

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HP to keep webOS cloud services; LG open to maybe someday extending webOS beyond

After today's news that LG is buying webOS from HP, there's been some lingering questions about what all is happening. We finally got a press release from HP, verifying that LG is indeed purchasing the webOS source code, documentations, websites, and the team behind the formerly-mobile operating system to make themselves a fancy new webOS TV.

The cloud services team, meanwhile, will be staying with HP and running the App Catalog and backup services for existing webOS customers. Additionally, Veghte told The Verge that HP sees this as "an opportunity to broaden our reach in delivering services to customers on a variety of platforms," and that they "can use this very broadly in our enterprise services organizations." For what it's worth, HP's been talking about utilizing webOS assets with their enterprise division for some time and nothing has yet seems to have materialized from it.

Contrary to this morning's report from CNET, HP will not be transferring ownership of the Palm patent portfolio to LG. Instead, LG will be licensing the patents, though unsurprisingly neither company seems prepared to comment on licensing term specifics. Additionally, LG claims to be committed to continued participation in the Open webOS project and open source development, but we'll have to see where that goes when their attention is going to be focused elsewhere (TVs).

For their part, LG CT Dr. Skott Ahn told The Verge that "In the short term, we'll apply this to the TV only. But in the future, wherever our plans take us, we'll consider an extension to other devices." Take that with a grain of salt, though. LG's not expecting to unveil their first webOS TV until CES in January 2014, and it could be much longer after that before they opt to bring webOS to other devices in their portfolio, assuming they do so at all. The webOS userbase and app ecosystem have been heavily damaged over the years, and another two or three years of delays will essentially be starting from scratch.

Additionally, LG seems to not be intending to offer that expansion into areas currently inhabited by their established Android wares, as in the phones and tablets that we so desperately want to run webOS. Ahn is quoted in the a combined press releases as saying that "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," a sentiment that we certainly agree with, but it seems to us to be best suited to handheld devices and not larger scale applications like televisions. But we aren't the ones plunking down millions of dollars here.

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