I remember the old discussions about convergence - wow it’s here and rolling.
I have little doubt that the future is smartphone - it’s natural and just happening without artificial inducements.
The main dilema is local Vs on-line - storage isn't so much a problem now - you can get multi-gigabyte memory chips very cheaply. Processing seems to be the main issue - my smartphone has HSPDA communications - when used as a modem for a laptop then teh Internet is very fast but when used by itself then access is much, much slower - thisis teh result of the slower CPU in the unit.
No doubt there will be on-line/local compromise using off-line web tools like Silverlight, Gears and Air.
Google Gears application on mobile zoho shows the potential -
check the zoho blog in this and the google blog about gears
However, I have a feeling that remote desktop will win out and not just for mobiles. You can use a small power efficient processor on a mobile device and harness huge the capabilities of a central system for computation, storage and connectivity. The key thing is communications - dedicate most of your devices capability to communications.
I can also feel the capability of using external peripherals for your mobile unit - larger screens (e.g. Surface), keyboards, cameras etc.
While I still think a smartphone will have it all I also think that it's communications will aloow it to off-load when appropriate.
In the begining was IBM and mainframes (centralised computing)
Then came Microsft and Apple with Personal computing (not forgetting (Commodor, Compaq etc)
The came Google with collaborative computing
Have a look and listen at the video here
The video discusses:
“Hyperconnectivity” - it’s all about high speed connctions - HSPDA, HSPDA+, LTE
Multi-service and communication - GPS installed in most new smartphones (location services) social networking, entertainment - everything
Smartphone label may diappear and instead become “appliance” - (maybe the term PDA might yet win)
many execs now choosing to take their smarthoen instead of their laptop.