Protopage is really very impressive. With this, and Writely, and GMail, and Google Maps and so forth, the in-browser experience is becoming amazingly rich. There will be a viable Open Source desktop environment after all. And it will be called Firefox.
Interesting question… At present, more than half of the machines sold are laptops, because people are getting more and more mobile and they really want their data with them everywhere. Will we ever see a reversal of this trend, as less and less of our data is stored on our own machines and it becomes accessible from anywhere? Will we see a ‘desktop PC’ renaissance?
I think that we might see a kind of desktop renaissance where disk less Mac Mini form factor devices might start to become more the norm. All there storage will be in the Googleplex somewhere out there! All my email already is and i for one would gladly take this further to encompass all the data I regularly access.
As an international consultant, I would like not having to walk through the back streets of Nigerian cities with a laptop on my back. Easy access to either my own or someone else’s SFF PC to access my apps and data would be great…. but until all places (including trains, planes and african mini-buses) have high-speed internet access, this is unlikely. After all, if you need to carry your apps around to use them in some places, you may as well carry them around to use in all places.