I’ve been trying to figure out the place of the desktop computer in my computing universe. For the last five (or more?) years, I have not had one at home. I have one at work. It runs headless under my desk, and serves up ssh and X sessions. (By “desktops” I mean computers in immobile boxes, so that would include servers in datacenters too.)
I don’t see them completely going away. Very high-end work (video, graphics, big compiles) will probably always want something that’s hotter and faster than what can fit into a thin slab.
To someone who didn’t grow up with them, desktops will look like factory machines. Heavy, ugly things that don’t belong in the everyday personal world, but solely in places of work, serving highly specialized requirements.
Keyboards and trackpads are headed the same way, I think.
Update: Right after hitting “Publish” on this post, I saw this post by Chris Dixon (off HN) which makes more or less the same point.