In my opinion, WebOS was extremely promising, but a couple years late. If HP acquired palm 12 months earlier they would have had better chances. I had a nice brief discussion about the HP TouchPad and WebOs the day the news came out.
It was just very clear to me that WebOS and the TouchPad would have needed 2 or 3 iterations before gaining any traction and especially credibility, considering they had to convince the customers that the platform had a future after the acquisition.
The product needed more differentiating factors and a more aggressive pricing, if they were serious they should have imposed a more competitive price tag and be available to even loose some money to get sales going like Microsoft did with the Xbox. Looks like TechCrunch is kind of on the same wave on this.
After the initial announcement, HP clarified that they will not pull the plug on the whole WebOS team, but “just on the hardware”, at least for now. However, nowadays, people won’t see anything outside iOS, windows or android to have any future… And HP just proved them right.