According to a new report published today by The Verge, developers behind Enyo will soon be leaving HP to join Google. It’s not yet clear, however, how they will be integrated into Google’s workforce. It's also unclear how many developers are moving.
It seems unlikely that Google intends to invest in webOS, but its worth noting that Enyo could potentially be used in a wide range of other environments. The expertise of Enyo developers could be useful if Google is looking to build a Web runtime for Android to serve as an alternative to the platform’s Java-based development stack. Enyo could also help provide a standardized application development framework for Google’s Chrome OS.
It’s worth noting that the permissive Apache license used by Enyo (and also Android) gives potential Enyo adopters considerable flexibility with how they can use the software and integrate it with other open and proprietary code bases.
HP has not confirmed the employee departures, but the company contacted us to say that it intends to move forward with its plans to open webOS.
“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," HP told us in a statement.
The webOS platform has had a long and strange journey since its inception at Palm. Despite its lack of success among consumers, much of the underlying technology still has considerable value. As an open source software project, Enyo has much to offer. Employing Enyo developers will give Google an opportunity contribute to the project and help move it forward. It is still not known at this time, however, whether that is Google’s intention.