Brian Proffitt writes that the rise of Cloud computing is sparking an unexpected resurgence of the workstation market:
The idea, it seems, is to take advantage of cloud technology and economics and use workstations to bring high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities to the corporate user or any user connected to the Internet with a big enough connection. To accomplish this, cloud vendors are working with applications that live and do some work on the local workstation, but then shunt much of the workload out into the cloud and back again. This approach enables users to get HPC-level power with little to no special configuration or hardware beyond the workstation itself.
Proffitt goes on to describe how this scenario works with companies like Greenbutton.Net, who enable cloud rendering from your desktop.