Hewlett-Packard webOS team may leave for Google

Hewlett-Packard Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd speaks at the dedication ceremony of HP's customer service and technical support center in Conway, Ark., Wednesday, March 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) AP

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AP Photo/Danny Johnston
(ZDNET) Google has begun hiring members of Hewlett-Packard's webOS Enyo team, according to a report by The Verge.

The "core" of the group will be leaving HP in the coming weeks, with Matt McNulty - who leads the team - also set to depart from the company.

Enyo - webOS' HTM5 application framework - was made open source along with webOS after HP exhausted the operating system.

An intrinsic and vital part to webOS, its future was left in doubt after then-chief executive Leo Apotheker announced last summer that the company would discontinue TouchPad and webOS devices, leaving the mobile operating system on the chopping block for the developer community to hack away at.

Instead of Google making an out-right offer to HP, it seems the search giant has individually poached around half a dozen members of the team, according to AllThingsD. The team will ultimately regroup at the other end and could be in play with Google by next month.

HP only this week announced it would cut 27,000 jobs, around 8 percent of the company, in a bid to save around $3-3.5 billion after fiscal 2014.

Interestingly, Google has hired the team one-by-one but not acquired the technology. Google may not have any need or use for Enyo, or any shred of webOS, but this move signals an interesting talent hire.

Google already has Android, but interestingly some have spotted Chrome as an outlet for the new hires. Chrome isn't just a browser: it's the very foundation of Google's own operating system. Web applications built on Enyo could feature in upcoming versions of both Chrome and Chrome OS.

Now the software is open source, it gives Google carte blanche to do as it wishes with it. Along with the framework's developers, Enyo could be integrated on a number of fronts within Google's own software - or not for that matter.

This article first appeared at ZDNET with the headline "HP's webOS Enyo team poached by Google."

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    Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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