The HP TouchPad for $99 that hit eBay right on schedule, might be the company's last webOS hardware the world will see for a while.

At the same time, this is not the end of webOS. HP said last week that there will be a new hardware in 2013. As for the operating system itself, HP is releasing it under an open-source license.

HP stated earlier this year that it was exiting the webOS hardware business, but this month it changed its statement and announced that it will open source the software and suggested it may get back in the business, though it is not likely to start selling new webOS tablets until 2013. Developers, partners, HP engineers and other hardware manufacturers can deliver ongoing enhancements and new versions into the marketplace.

The webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable, said Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer. By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open-source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices.

It was also declared that HP will engage the open-source community to help define the charter of the open-source project under a set of operating principles. HP also will contribute ENYO, the application framework for webOS, to the community in the near future along with a plan for the remaining components of the user space.

In addition, Whitman had hinted that there may be an opportunity in 2013 to think of a different device and maybe come back to tablets. So the present eBay sale can be a good opportunity to grab an HP TouchPad as the next one could take some time to materialize.