While the iPad is a new platform, it is the moral equivalent of the desktop platform, only more portable. It has the kind of easy to use operating system that Microsoft could never, ever have created.
I’m not a big fan of the Apple closed universe, but the iPad will finally bring computing to the masses, simply because the average person will be able to run native apps without needing an IT department on call 24/7.
Everybody I know spends most of their time using native apps. The Web is just a transport layer, after all.