Open webOS is marching toward its first release, but it won't have many products to run on, because previous webOS devices will not be supported. The reason for that circumstance is the fact that the new operating system is based on the Linux 3.3 kernel and requires SoC support. In HP's words:
"For Open webOS we are aiming for support on future hardware platforms where SoC’s support Linux 3.3+ kernel and where open source replacements for proprietary components are integrated. Existing devices cannot be supported because of those many proprietary components, including graphics, networking and lack of drivers for a modern kernel (but of course, there is the Community Edition for those interested in improving the TouchPad)."
You can easily argue in favor of dropping Touchpad support as it's necessary to leave baggage behind and begin with a clean slate. Supporting the Touchpad, however, would not have been baggage; it would have been support in the hundreds of thousands of devices that could have helped Open webOS gain traction and visibility. Perhaps an initial release for the Touchpad and then a move to something else would have been the smarter decision.
A clean slate would have been what HP should have done with webOS when it acquired Palm and when it had the power to push a new platform in the market using its massive weight. At this point, however, you wonder why HP even bothers keep webOS on life support while it continues to cut off body parts.