The end of lugging laptops?

I’m at the Toronto stop of the Microsoft Partner Briefing Tour today. So far it’s been quite interesting – right now they’re going through a demo of Sharepoint 2007, which seems to have had a bit of scope creep and is now their ECM (Enterprise Content Management) system – compared to the collaboration oriented system I remember it being introduced as a couple years ago. Very interesting but no mention of multiple languages though.

The reason for the post though. I’m sitting in a room of roughly 400 techies & Microsoft resellers and not counting the presentation systems I’m surprised to see an almost total lack of laptops here. From my seat I can see exactly one.

Contrast that with the Mesh conference where I was probably the only one without my latop there and open. Kind of ironic as the over arching theme here today seems to be all about being always connected.

That said I’m sitting here tapping this out on my phone and I can see dozens on ‘berries etc. In active use. Maybe the days of lugging around a laptop coming to an end? If so, I’m not sure what Micosoft’s plan is as the closest thing to a mobile solution I’ve seen today is OVA (Outlook Voice Access) – voice enabled Outlook. It’s cool but the “attendant” is a little chatty, and creepy.

Edited to add: I clearly “thought” some stuff and didn’t tap it out in my initial post. My point about ending the lugging around of laptops (which may just go without saying these days) had to do with the capabilities of many of the new phones now and how a laptop just isn’t all that necessary. I brought my laptop with me for the sessions today but upon arriving weighed what benefit it would serve me to have in there. All my current emails and contact info are on my phone, their attachments easily downloadable and viewable – I could blog via email and my RSS newsreader was right there for those lulls during breaks etc. plus, I wasn’t even sure if I’d have wi-fi inside. So in the end tiny light weight phone won out of lugging around “the brick”.