Travelers no longer have to carry a PC with them as long as they can access the internet wherever they go. Nivio
is offering a virtual Windows XP desktop for a small monthly service fee. You can sign up to get a beta tester invitation. The service is based in Bangalore and their website seems quite fast. Here is a news article
Nivio is one of several initiative to virtualize the desktop experience
. Google and Citrix are others. These companies present you with desktop applications accessible through your browser and provide secure storage as well. Nivio suggest that the PC will eventually morph into a browser-only thin client.
I can envision a light cheap laptop that only connects to the internet. It has no operating system, but runs a browser from firmware, so it is instant-on. Drivers would provide USB and local audio capability. All of your writing and spreadsheets would be stored on providers' websites where it would be backed-up daily.