Central force behind development of the OS that powered HP’s TouchPad is going to Google, according to a report on The Verge.

by Steven Musil

Google seems to be cornering the market on open-source operating systems.

The Web giant will soon be welcoming into its fold the Hewlett-Packard team responsible for creating Enyo, the HTLM5-based application framework for WebOS that debuted on the failed TouchPad, according to a report on The Verge. However, what they will be doing at Google remains a mystery.

Enyo is central to the development of WebOS, which was in limbo until HP decided to open source the operating system last December. The mobile platform was thought dead after then-CEO Leo Apotheker announced during an earnings call last August that the company would discontinue operations for WebOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and WebOS phones. His proposal was to transform the company from a consumer-electronics product manufacturer to a business-class software and consulting services provider.

However, the unit’s fate has been up in the air since the company’s board ousted Apotheker in September and replaced him with Meg Whitman, the former chief executive at eBay. Whitman put many of Apotheker’s decisions on ice, ultimately deciding to release to developers the code, for which HP paid $1.2 billion when it bought Palm, and then evaluate what relevance it had among developers.

Now it appears that that strategy has evaporated for HP, along with 27,000 other jobs. What Google will do with the team could prove useful in building a Web runtime for Android or perhaps an app development framework for Chrome.



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