I personally never thought that Linux was a nerdy OS until I tried to install Arch but distros like Ubuntu became really user friendly. Ubuntu was the first Linux distro I recommended for a casual PC user. I still install it on many PCs and laptops as an alternative for vista or buying win7 and the only complain I heard was that it doesn't run office
Cloud computing, lol, will never be. But linux will always be on servers as its the most used in that capacity. As for desktops, it is true that they are becoming of old and I can agree with that, really no need for such bulky equipment when lesser can perform just as great and in some cases even better. I don't mind, I only have laptops that I connect external keyboards, mice and monitors to when needed and I have to option to easily take it with me. We are becoming a mobile generation.
See Office Live, Zoho, Google Documents... See EyeOS, see Steam, see youtube....
It's all in the web now. And since people don't care about their privacy (if they would, they wouldn't be using Windows, Mac OS X and such... well.. Mac maybe, because has far less viruses than Windows, but it's still closed-source) they will rapidly move to the cloud, in which with an 100$ nettop you can play high end games, videos, and lots of features without a hard drive.
I hope to die before the cloud completely rules us all... No, seriously...
I will not get into the "Cloud computing" debate, simply because most people don't even understand what that means, similar to what you consider its purpose. But I'm a computer engineer of about 15 years, so, most of what I do now is what the world sees later and cloud computing is not one them.
I have used windows and mac based systems all my life with no virus or problems whatsoever, people who do encounter such problems are those who don't understand how a system works. I use Linux often for the customizing options, nothing much more than that.
Hmmmmm... as far as i know, cloud computing is a way of managing your data, but instead of having all your programs and stuff running in your computer, you use a program to connect to your server, and from there, see your documents, watch videos, and play music. Tell me if i'm wrong, because i'd love to learn what's cloud computing then