An interesting phenomenon with technology is the fact that just because someone thought of it, it doesn't mean that anyone will find a use for it; well, not for some time at least.
The fax machine was invented in 1843 but only cam into common usage in the 1970s.
Likewise, the application service model (now often called web services) was born early in the dot com era but only now is it finding traction as corporation realise they really don't need to invest millions for something they can lease on a month by month basis for a few hundred or thousands of dollars. At Narrowstep our intranet and partner extranet are run using Intranets.com (now part of WebEx) and our sales process will be managed in future using Salesforce.com.
No Ray Ozzie, the legendary new Chief Software Officer at Microsoft has come out and warned of the demise of the PC. I seem to recall Larry Elisson of Oracle doing the same almost a decade ago.
But, I now think that this is an idea whose time has come. Having a 100TB iPod to carry all your favourite films in HD seems possible (remember the days when 256Kb of memory was considered HUGE - no, well, you're younger than I am then..). But, why bother if you can carry a device that can connect to any of these films at any time wherever you are in the world?
There is still a big argument that people 'like to own the box', but this is fast disappearing. Content is ephemeral, but needs to be ubiquitous for the thin client era to dawn. IMHO, that day is fast approaching.