Last December, after months of uncertainty, HP announced its plans for the ill-fated webOS: the mobile operating system would be surrendered to the open-source community, as would its Enyo application framework, and HP would retain an active role in development and support.
That all sounded like a fine plan. Except here’s the thing: according to The Verge, much of the Enyo team is about to defect to Google. The defectors reportedly include project head Matt McNulty and team members "responsible for 99 percent of the code." It looks like neither HP nor Google have confirmed or denied the story officially yet, but The Verge did get the following statement from HP:
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.
Everything is on track, in other words… for now. But this does sound like a pretty serious blow, and the long-term effect of the departures—if they indeed happen—on Enyo and the webOS remains to be seen. I’m sure the new talent will do interesting things at Google, though.