HP sells webOS HTML 5 group Enyo to Google

25 May 2012

In another indication of the botched handling of the webOS opportunity, it appears HP’s Enyo team – the group that would have looked after webOS’ HTML 5 application framework – is being moved to Google.

Having acquired Motorola Mobility and now this, Google intends to consolidate the vast advance of Android globally.

According to IDC research, more than eight out of 10 smartphones shipped during the first quarter were powered by iOS (23pc) and Android (59pc) operating systems.

Android finished the quarter as the overall leader among the mobile operating systems, accounting for more than half of all smartphone shipments.

The Verge has reported that the entire webOS HTML 5 application framework team known as Enyo is now working for Google. No doubt a key asset as HTML 5 becomes core to future mobile websites and apps.

Sadly, anyone old enough to remember the impact of Palm as a mobile productivity device and how it changed the game entirely in the 1990s and early 2000s have long come to the conclusion that HP’s botched handling of opportunities like the Palm Pre and TouchPad means the saga will just be a footnote in tech industry history.

The very fact HP had even gone as far as considering selling off its PC division is an indicator of how strategically unfocused it became. An indicator indeed of poor morale and bad leadership at the time.

Google’s grabbing of the Enyo team can be considered strategic. HTML 5 is the future as far as mobile devices are concerned and it means Google may have stolen a march on Amazon, which is understood to have been sniffing around webOS.

Quintessentially, it means Google has gotten its hands on a talented team at a time when good developers and engineers are as rare as hen’s teeth.

Those gifted with expertise in HTML 5 applications framework can consider themselves the arms dealers of the smartphone revolution.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years