Well, technically, you still need a PC (or some personal computing device) to access stuff online, even if it’s a small wireless server type equipment. First, I think the article is a bit misleading and misinformative (first it says you can access your PC from anywhere, then it says it will eliminate the need for PCs. Which one is it? ). Since it’s online storage, you really aren’t accessing your PC (there’s already technology to do that - Remote Desktop), but only an image of your PC (which can be stored anyway already - there’s Microsoft Virtual PC which essentially reads an operating system image. I use it at work.).
Secondly, people have been saying the Internet would replace operating systems for -]years/-] decades, but it hasn’t. What it has done is provide cross-platform independency (i.e., I write a file in notepad using an IBM computer with Windows XP and put it on the web. You are able to look at it using your Apple/Mac with OS 11 or whatever version it is, and you read it with whatever software the Mac uses to read text files.). There’s also online tools that mimic common software.
Third, putting an entire OS on a remote server and accessing it is just asking to be a resource hog (drive space, memory, bandwidth). Where I work, we use Remote Desktop, and this can lag even on our LAN (screen looks choppy). The connection to one’s online “computer” is also going to be only as fast as the person’s connection. To me, it seems a bit redundant if you already have a computer in the first place. It also begs the question - “What if I want to install something?”. I might have a CD or DVD, and either I seem some port adapter and docking station, or I need a PC!
Since the Internet was designed to be platform independent, I think there’s much more efficient ways of creating/storing/using data and using a remote server as an “operating system”. At best (or worse?), it’s one large disk image backup center.
If they really wanted to make something useful, then they could find a way to integerate the resources (storage, memory) of all computers currently connected online as one large (yet, very dynamic) operating system. For example, 10 people are online. One person wants to play a video game. The game will use memory resources from computers 1, 2, and 3, with mirror images kept on other computer. There’s already programs with a similar idea, such as having personal computers perform protine calculations, or SETI@Home). Granted, they would still need a much, much faster Internet backbone.