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HP culls nearly half remaining webOS team

275 engineers not required in move to open source

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Hewlett-Packard continues to dismantle its webOS engineering team by handing nearly half of the remaining 600 techies their pink slips.

The cuts began in September when HP's axe fell on 525 webOS employees following the decision to shutter the hardware unit that designed the now defunct TouchPad and Pre3 devices.

Another 275 heads will roll, the vendor confirmed in a statement.

"As WebOS continues the transition from making mobile devices to open-source software, it no longer needs many of the engineering and other related positions that it required before," said HP.

"This creates a smaller and more nimble team that is well equipped to deliver an open-source WebOS and sustain HP's commitment to the software over the long term."

The vendor said it is trying to redeploy employees impacted by these changes to other roles at the company.

In December, CEO Meg Whitman revealed HP would open source the Linux-based mobile OS with the platform's community expected to release a fully blown version, webOS 1.0, in September. Former Palm chief exec and webOS daddy Jon Rubenstein resigned in January, some 29 months after HP spunked $1.2bn on the mobile specialist. ®

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