The manpower behind HP's webOS platform continues to shrink as the team leading the Enyo HTML 5 development project is reportedly leaving the company to join Google shortly.
The news came from the Verge, which learned from sources close to HP that the entire Enyo team might not be moving on, though Matt McNulty, who was in charge of the project, could be among those leaving.
HP announced in January that it would complete the entire open sourcing process by September and planned to release Open webOS 1.0 later this year. Given that, questions have been raised on how the latest move would affect the company's strategies for the operating system going forward.
According to an official statement from HP obtained by the Verge, the Open webOS project is right on schedule. The statement that referred to the roadmap (with September release) announced back in January read like this:
We're pleased with the traction Enyo has gained to date and plan to continue its development along with the open source community. The Open webOS project is on schedule and we remain committed to the roadmap announced in January.
As far as the departing Enyo crew is concerned, approximately a half dozen people have been hired by Google and will start at the company as early as June, All Things D reported.
While Google didn't make any deal with HP to acquire the Enyo technology, the search engine giant has been in contact with individual workers for the last one month. Google hired each of the workers making the move individually, an anonymous source told All Things D.
It's still unclear how the Enyo team will be incorporated into Google's workforce. However, considering Google as a big fan of HTML5 apps and its efforts to boost its ChromeOS that depends a lot on web apps, there's a strong ground to believe that the team could well be slotted into the Chrome group.
Android could also be an option. As the Verge noted, regardless of its commercial success (or lack thereof), few would argue that webOS is an innovative platform that Android could learn from.
According to a report in Ars Technica, the Enyo team could offer significant contribution if Google decides to develop a Web runtime for Android that can be used as an alternative to the platform's Java-based development stack.
HP published the source code of Enyo under the permissive Apache license as part of a broader plan to open the entire webOS environment. The license gives potential Enyo adopters significant flexibility with how they can use the software and integrate it with other open and proprietary code bases, said the report.