Our lives revolve around the Internet these days. As more and more features are added to the Internet I find myself less and less dependant on stand-alone applications. I do all of my banking online, I file my taxes online, and my contacts and calendar are managed via the web. I can even now compose documents and spreadsheets online thanks to Google. With so many sites offering massive amounts of storage space I can even save my data to the net for free. Best of all I let them worry about the backups. Recently I have gained the capability to listen to my mp3 collection from any Internet connected PC no software needed.
So whats the point? Hardware is becoming less and less important. All we need is a slim, lightweight PC, with great battery life to connect to the net. Let all the application processing be done server-side, thanks to common broadband Internet connections this is even a realistic prospect. Let IT pros do all of the security patching and and backups to manage this software. Best of all if we scale back the hardware performance we make actually see the days of a $50 PC. However I am not saying that this means we don't need to worry about backups and security. Ever computer needs to have updated virus and malware protection and make use of a good firewall. Also every user needs to make sure they are installing patches and hotfixes for the software they do have installed and be backing up all of their data to at least two seperate locations... no exceptions.
Many companies are embracing this reduced overhead philosophy. Lean OS'S are beginning to pop-up, and more companies are allowing visitors to use their software server-side with no need to do any installs. There are at least two companies out there however that have not yet caught on to this new trend... Microsoft (Vista) and Apple (OSX). I find it amazing that by and large the demand for more procesor powerand more ram is being driven by OS development.