OQO invents UMPC Pro category twice


When the Model 02 was announced last month, OQO tagged it as "the first computer in the UMPC Pro category." The California-based company, which proclaims itself the "leader of the UMPC Pro market" and "creator of the UMPC category" (huh?), defines the category as one that targets mobile professionals with "enterprise-class features and functionality" packed into an ultraportable form factor.

Let’s pretend for a moment that OQO hasn’t been referring to the Model 01+ as a UMPC Pro since at least July 2006 and focus on just the Model 02. Now, compared to first-generation UMPCs, which were lower spec’d than even entry-level notebooks, marking the 02 with the "Pro" distinction makes a bit of sense.

But what’s the point?

Other manufacturers with similarly spec’d handtops seem to have no interest in being included in the "new" category. And Microsoft itself neither acknowledges nor uses the term. That comes straight from the horse’s mouth, too, as I recently contacted Microsoft’s UMPC Team about this. Incidentally, they define UMPCs as "battery powered PCs with a LCD 7" or smaller running a full Windows OS to provide 100% compatibility." Touch support, which I always thought of as an absolute requirement, is just a "strong recommendation." Maybe this is just another example of my feathers being ruffled by incorrect usage of terminology, but the supposed creation of an entire category of devices (especially one that builds upon an existing one that OQO claims to have created) seems like something that would be of particular interest to the handtop community. No?

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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