Thinking outside the box, or rather realize that there is no box !
NativeClient from Google is a open source research project (for now!) aiming to utilize the local client machine CPU cycles for running web applications, while maintaining the net neutrality and portability and safety.
Native Client uses software fault isolation and a secure runtime to direct system interaction and side effects through interfaces managed by Native client. Native Client provides operating system portability for binary code while supporting performance oriented features generally absent from web application programming environments, such as thread support, instruction set extensions such as SSE, and use of compiler intrinsic and hand-coded assembler. – From the associated white paper
– cartoon by Tom Bower
If marketed and adopted by the programmers and end users alike appropriately this would be huge for Google, in reducing the significance of an operating systems ! At this juncture it looks more like this would be competing with Java in one perspective and and the same time would be trying to eat into Flash market. But probably the more significant implication would be the giving even more control to the Big Brother !