San Francisco’s OQ0, maker of a micro-sized Windows personal computer (click on image to enlarge), said it has raised $20 million more in venture capital funding. But question is, has its latest computer improved any since our colleague Mike Langberg slammed the original version last year after its much delayed release? And should it be used for our national defense?
If you see the specs on the newest version of the device, called the “01+,” there are a few things that stay the same as…
the original “01”. It still has a tiny screen, with a 800 X 480 pixel display, tiny keyboard, weak 1GH processor, and still priced at $1,899, all of which Langberg said were reasons the device didn’t measure up. Back then, a year ago, he called it “unusable, overpriced and underpowered.” OQO has upgraded a few features, such as doubling the RAM to 512MB. But coming a year after its original version, you’d sort of expect that. So we’ll be interested in hearing what Langberg has to say.
Noteworthy, too, is the company’s customer base. If it is as bad as Langberg warns us it is, should we be concerned that the nation’s governmental agencies that are among those showing the greatest interest for this product, and that it is already a “key component” being used for national security projects?
Indeed, this latest round of financing was led by the Washington D.C.-based Paladin Capital Group, which specializes in defense investments. According to the release: “Paladin invests in companies that can play an important role in protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure with a focus on companies whose solutions are capable of having an immediate impact. The firm’s management includes the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the former Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), and the former Deputy Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Paladin Principal Niloo Howe, who will join the OQO Board of Directors, commented, ‘as the only pocketable fully functional Windows XP PC on the market, the OQO ultra personal computer is already a key component in a variety of Homeland Security projects. We see tremendous potential for OQO in the government sector, in addition to the broader enterprise market.’
Though we should point out, OQO has a nice little quote from the omnipresent Rob Enderle, Principal Analyst for the Enderle Group, in its press release announcing the “01+.” Enderle says: “The OQO remains one of the most unique personal computers on the market and is proving to be valuable in industries such as healthcare and public safety…In a world of otherwise similar products the OQO stands out as unique, amazing, and incredibly useful”. That’s quite an endorsement, but a bit different from our own Langberg’s view. Hmmm.