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The main coders working on HP’s Enyo  — the HTML5 application framework first seen in the HP TouchPad — have jumped ship and are headed to Google, the Verge reports.

This puts a huge dent in HP’s plan to open source webOS, which admittedly was weak from the start. HP only announced that it was opening up webOS after it failed to find a suitable buyer. We reported that HP tried to sell its Palm assets for $1.2 billion — the same price it initially paid for them.

Sources tell the Verge that the departing crew wrote “99 percent of the code” for Enyo, and that also includes Matt McNulty, who headed the Enyo team. HP planned to release the first version of Open webOS later this year, but without the Enyo folks I can’t really see that happening. (In a statement to the Verge, HP said everything was on schedule.)

HP announced earlier this week that it’s laying off 27,000 employees — which likely gave the Enyo crew the impetus to move on.

The news doesn’t mean that we’ll start seeing great webOS design influences and features in Android. The Enyo team was instead focused on making it easier for developers to create apps for the platform. It’s still unclear where they’ll end up at Google, but it will likely be either the Android team (though Android apps are built in Java, not HTML5) or Google Chrome (which could use a robust HTMl5 app framework).


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