Laptop or large PDA?

This story caught my eye. Dell and Intel announce a laptop that provides the usual set of mobile applications and appears to do so without an OS. Or at least, none of the major OSes you usually find. Is this just a laptop sized PDA or the start of something more? Most computers nowadays allow the user to have multiple applications running concurrently – not just ready to resume instantly – but all of them actually doing something at the same time. I understand why that is good, but is it what we always need? I used to have many things going on at the same time and I sometimes still do (mainly when doing astrophotograpghy). Long gone are my days, compiling and running massive jobs. I mostly aggregate, sort, link, and condense information these days – and I do not need a 3GHz CPU running full blast to do so. I for one can’t type or read that fast and that is what I do most while on the computer. I have often wondered what it would be like to have a minimal OS to switch tasks and provide load/unload services for applications that provide all of their own services. I hope we are about to find out. This won’t replace the PC, but does allow it to expand into a whole new direction.