Running large application at native speed in the browser is not only a milestone for the gamer community: we would better think about it as what might be called the “Web 3.0” or something like that in the few year coming...
ORBX is a technology developed to bridge clouds and clients independently of the device. ORBX was born from a partnership between Otoy and Mozilla, then consolidated by the foundations between Otoy, Autodesk, Nvidia and Amazon.
With a modern browser, the trend is to load more and more computing on the front end. For graphic purpose GPU can now wisely be used and is becoming required more and more. The road opened with WebGL is obviously followed by General Purpose GPU technologies: WebCL (Khronos group) or River Trail (Intel).
One of the promised coming-soon shift in technology is security. It has always been a hot matter and until recently it has been an exclusive server-side problem. The client-side ecosystem used to be and still remains the main source of infection.
Microsoft may be late in the smartphone and tablet development it learn fast, both from iOS and Android, then catch up quick. The next version of WINDOWS OS 8 will be exclusively focused on a smash-up between desktop PC and mobile device.