Intel is working on a chipset for PCs that will make the PC an access point for home users: Apple's offered a software base station feature for its operating system for many years (with a short gap during the early Mac OS X days). A software base station uses a Wi-Fi adapter and a software program to simulate the features of a dedicated access point. Windows XP can manage about the same task--with some technically missing access point features--using ad hoc networking and Internet network connection sharing.
Intel's plan dovetails with some other chipmakers who have enabled this feature. The difference between an access point and a Wi-Fi adapter is often very slight--just different firmware. Putting that firmware into a computer program that can run under Windows is pretty straightforward. Intel hopes to eliminate the AP for home networks, but they miss the point that a computer has to be on all the time when it's a software access point, and that when it's turned off, rebooting, crashed, or defunct, you're out of luck.