With the advent of 64 bit processors and the operating systems that virtualize them, we are going to see some amazing new technologies emerge in the next 5-10 years. I had the pleasure of interviewing some folks involved in the 64 bit revolution today and really left the interview feeling excited about the future of applications and what we will be able to do on our personal computers thanks to powerful 64 bit processors coupled with cheap memory. You'll be able to see the interview on Channel 9 in a few weeks.
With 64 bit computing, there is no longer the 32-bit memory barrier that hampers things like fast analysis of very large datasets (because on 32-bit systems you can't hold them in-memory without causing significant perf problems or a dreaded out of memory exception...). Also, there is increased performance of the system generally due to the greater working address space. When apps start being written in 64-bit mode from scratch (that is, not ported from 32-bit), the possibilities of what we will see are truly compelling, like new types of games and powerful video/audio processing applications for your 64-bit laptop.
What new applications might we expect as a result of 64-bit computing?