LG takes webOS open source
LG has announced that it has released an open source variant of its webOS platform. The operating system has been shipping in LG’s smart TVs for the past few years and the Korean company now says that it is keen to see it spread further. To facilitate this, the company has developed webOS Open Source Edition and is soliciting ideas about how it can make the operating system more ubiquitous.
As part of its announcement, LG has said that it has entered into an agreement with the Korean government to advance webOS as an open platform through a government body that specializes in helping startups. LG says that it will invite startups to showcase solutions using webOS and will shortlist startups that show promise. The company will offer both logistical and technical support with a view to commercializing the products. Interested parties can download the new operating system at webosose.org.
The operating system has a storied history. First developed by Palm as a contemporary of Apple’s iOS in the mid-2000s, it was very well received by the critics as a truly modern smartphone operating system capable of competing with the iPhone. Unfortunately, the Palm Pre smartphone that it shipped with just wasn’t up to it from a hardware quality perspective and users steered clear of it. Palm found a willing buyer in HP in 2010 that planned on deploying it on tablets and smartphones, but a change of management quickly killed that initiative off after a tepid response to the initial hardware. HP open sourced webOS for a period before selling the IP to LG in 2013.