cheap hardware and free software: disruptive technologies
Robert X. Cringely recently wrote an article about the (roughly) $70 Linksys WRT54G 802.11g wireless access point and router that includes a four-port 10/100 Ethernet switch. He points out that Linksys uses Linux in this device, plays fair by the GPL, and publishes the firmware code for the device.
I like the idea of supporting light weight web applications, etc. on such a low price, compact, and low power device as the Linksys WRT54G! Too light weight (too little RAM, etc.) for Java, but it is simple enough to write useful socket server based applications in C or C++ and support HTTP, REST, etc.
Lower development and deployment costs simply mean that companies and other organizations can afford to provide more service, use better internal business intelligence tools, etc. I like the trend of spending money on custom web application development (whether it be to programmers in the U.S., India, China, Rusia, etc.) that is saved in hardware and infrastructure tool costs.