Focus shift away from pure processing innovation
Moore's law (From Thomas Moore of the Intel fame) which states that the complexity of the processors keeps doubling every two years. A frequent question is how long will improvements keep coming at this rate.
Though faster processors will keep coming and we will find new uses for computing this extra power, let's face it, computers are already everywhere and entry level computers are able to do what most people need them to do... mostly web browsing, document editing and basic games. Again, some programs push processing powers to the limit but for the most part, a computer sits idle.
When Nicolas Negroponte talked about a $100 laptop, everyone laughed at him, stressing how unrealistic it was. Though we have not yet reached this price point, I believe we are constantly getting closer and the success of netbooks has shown how computers have too much power for the average user and how cheap computers are good enough for everyday use. Of course, we will always find uses for better processors/ graphics/ memory... but netbooks are here to stay and it shows we have reached a tipping point where arguably number crunching power is not as important in computer purchasing decisions.
If computing power is not as key in computer selection, what is it being replaced by?