HP’s webOS heading to LG TVs; Samsung Galaxy S IV coming; will Barnes & Noble go private?

Your Monday tech grab bag:

• WebOS, the mobile operating system that just won’t quit, is making its way into smart TVs from LG. The South Korean company is buying parts of Palm from HP — source code, documentation, website and engineering team for the client side — and it hasn’t ruled out using webOS in its smartphones, according to the Verge. Terms of the deal, which includes licenses for Palm patents, were not disclosed. LG’s webOS team will be based at the company’s new Sunnyvale lab, according to the company’s press release.

HP will retain the cloud computing part of Palm, while LG will take over the open-source projects of webOS, according to LG.

HP bought Palm of PDA fame in 2010 for $1.2 billion and launched the webOS-based TouchPad in 2011. However, HP pulled the plug on the tablet after less than a couple of months.

As GMSV mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the future of webOS, which HP had made open source but said it would continue to develop, has been unclear since reports about an upcoming Android-based HP tablet surfaced. Those reports were true: HP  on Sunday announced a new Slate 7 tablet at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It will go on sale in April for $169. Early reviews deem the 7-inch tablet decent and “relatively competitive,” with PC World saying the feature that stands out is that the Slate 7 allows for printing — a feature that’s mostly missing from tablets.

• Also at the Mobile World Congress, Samsung confirmed that the successor to its highly successful Galaxy S III smartphone will be unveiled March 14 in New York City. The Galaxy S IV is expected to be faster and have a higher-resolution display and camera. It may be coming just in time for the South Korean company: Apple beat Samsung as the top seller in the U.S. mobile market in the fourth quarter, research firm Strategy Analytics reported earlier this month.

• Meanwhile, there’s plenty going on with Barnes & Noble, the largest U.S. bookseller/maker of Nook e-readers and tablets. Its shares are up sharply today amid news that the company’s chairman has filed a plan to try to buy it, which would probably mean the Nook Media division would be split from the bookstore.

Chairman Leonard S. Riggio owns about 30 percent of B&N’s shares. Its board had already been considering spinning off the Nook division, according to the New York Times. One complication the Wall Street Journal points out is that Microsoft and Pearson last year invested $400 million combined into the Nook business. B&N’s high hopes for the Nook haven’t panned out as Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad remain the top-selling e-reader and tablet, respectively. 

B&N shares are up more than 11 percent to $15.05 as of this post, still off about 27 percent their 52-week closing high of $20.75, which they reached last April.


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