While the good news that webOS as a mobile operating system would now be Open Source did come down the chute with much rejoicing this early afternoon, HP's stance on no future with HP hardware for the OS remains true. As it was announced earlier this summer right before The Great TouchPad Exodus of 2011, HP will no longer be producing hardware with webOS on it natively. This of course doesn't mean that someone couldn't hack a bit of the ol' webOS onto an HP product in the future if they wanted to, but their current status with webOS is the same as the rest of the "other leading operating systems" at the moment.
As you may well know, the announcement a few months ago that HP would get out of the business of working with webOS as a mobile operating system came as quite a shock to those hoping for a future on the Palm side of things here in the mobile environment of 2011. On the other hand, as HP employees continued to hold their Palm smartphones in their hands with great hope for an unannounced future, they today came to realize once more the uncertainty of the truth. While HP's current status with the operating system has seen a sudden reinvigoration due to the open source announcement, they only have a written possibility in their FAQ that they will "explore the viability of putting webOS on devices, just as we do for other leading operating systems."
Meanwhile HP plans to remain active in the support and development of webOS, and current users of devices such as the TouchPad can continue to expect updates to their software regularly. As HP states, making webOS open source will only accelerate the development of the webOS platform as well as the application ecosystem, this of course ringing true as a positive future situation for everyone involved. Who will take the reigns next? Or will it be an Android situation where everyone under the sun takes a piece of the pie?