Key WebOS developer switches to Android

It seems HP has had a little setback in their Palm purchase. Matias Duarte, one of the core designers of Palm's WebOS, has quit. Duarte took a job with Google as the User Experience Director for Android.

InfoWorld is speculating that the job change indicates that Duarte has little confidence in the success of WebOS, HP, or a combination of the two. This is bad news for HP, they recently put down $1.2 billion to purchase Palm. Most assume when HP purchased Palm they wanted to get their hands on WebOS. By integrating WebOS into HP's hardware they were hoping to compete with Apple and Google in the mobile market.

Duarte is known within the industry for his UI design talents, he worked on the UI for Helio and the Sidekick, so his switch to Google is a big blow to HP. One of their best talents has switched to the other team. With a position open at HP now maybe Robbie Bach or J. Allard will join the WebOS team. Both were high level Microsoft employees in the Entertainment and Devices division. Either one could be a valuable resource for HP. Bach was an active part of the development for Windows Phone 7 and Allard was working on Microsoft's now abandoned Courier tablet device. 

It will be interesting to see what Duarte brings to Google to improve the Android OS.

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