HP will make the underlying code of webOS available under an open source license. Developers, partners, HP engineers and other hardware manufacturers can deliver ongoing enhancements and new versions into the marketplace.
I guess this is a desperate move when you can't find a buyer and you're looking to gain traction through enticing manufacturers?
Releasing webOS as open source still doesn't mean anything (except being a nice gesture to the open source community). It will be a dead platform if no manufacturer picks it up and creates devices. And that manufacturer isn't going to be HP since they dumped the TouchPad. So any manufacturer is going to need to pick up the platform on day 1 and sort through the code base when it gets released. There's too much of a disadvantage and not much to gain.
Any manufacturer would just be going down the same track as HP did.
Just to give you a perspective on how many TouchPad users there are, my post from yesterday received just short of 26 thousand unique visitors across all platforms.
Here is the breakdown for mobile hardware visitors from "Clicky":http://getclicky.com/66512607: * iOS - 3,299 - 72.4% * Android - 1,140 - 25% * Windows phone - 54 - 1.2% * Blackberry - 33 - 0.7% * Unknown mobile - 23 - 0.5% * Symbian - 6 - 0.1% * webOS (specifically Palm Pre) - 2 * Windows CE - 1