That is what I thought when my boss, Dr. Bix, gave me a new iPAQ (yes, ungrateful person).  It sat in my office for a few months collecting dust until today when I ripped it open.

   So it has a keyboard, so what, it’s not a phone and where is the camera.

Well,we are demanding of technology these days.

Have you tried using your phone for email?  Well, it ain’t that fun after the first one.

One thing I was told by a lady in Singapore is that Sing people text message faster than anyone and they don’t even need T9.  Someone actually did a test to prove it.  Well, I don’t type fast enough with T9.  My thoughts move too quickly for that single finger typing.  I love the keyboard.

   Oh man, one more electronic gadget to carry around!  Ugh.

Actually, I was really annonyed on this trip not having an instant-on device with my  itinerary (.pdf) on it.  I also dig the full screen view of my email and the automatic pick-up of random wireless signals all around me while I go from place to place, my home, coffee shop, work, etc.  I don’t have to power up the computer and watch it sync.  I just pause for a moment and take a quick look. I love that while I am cruising around it just automaticcaly syncs up for me.  I never wait for new email on the go.

So aside from a phone, what is it missing?   A KILLER APP!  Microsoft, on my Christmas list, I have the following:

   Smart Client Application that allows me to do my expense reports on the iPAQ

Do you think that Santa’s elves in our IT department will hear me?

Next year this time, I am hoping for an IT Showcase of a Smart Client that connects to secure Web services in our finance department.  That way I wont have to spend 6 hours of precious Microsoft time filling out expense reports for reciepts that are 2 weeks old in a language I don’t speak and so therefore have forgotten what they are for.  If I had a Smart Client I could store and then forward my expenses on as I go.  Or do them on the plane in between cities.  It’s brainless work that I don’t want to be doing the day I get back in my office.

But really, the next generation smart client should be on your cell phone with a point of sale reader.

   ”Would you like an electronic or paper receipt with that miss?” 

   ”Thanks, I will scan it electronically into my phone.”

Or better yet…

   ”Would you like to pay for that with your credit card, your debit card, or your cell phone?”

   ”Thanks, I like one bill, I will use my cell.”

– Web Services, Ah! –

Come to think of it, someone should build me this demo, and I promise to try and work you into a talk at Tech Ed.  Connecting those systems….