Formed by engineers who were part of the group responsible for the development of the first PowerBook G4 Titanium – launched in 2001 – OQO announced today that it is leaving its business after a decade in the market. The company worked with ultraportable computers – and put "ultra" on it -, basically running Microsoft's operating system.
Before leaving Apple and starting a new company, Jory Bell and Nick Merz proposed to Steve Jobs different models of ultraportable computers to be manufactured and sold as Macs, but the CEO declined the proposal, thus causing the two to leave. In 2003, during the Macworld Expo, Ma showed the world the smallest professional notebook to date, the 12-inch PowerBook G4 Aluminum, while OQO produced a very impressive “device” for the time, which ran Windows XP with a CPUTransmeta Crusoe.
From there, she continued her work with computers based on Microsoft UMPC specifications, running Windows XP in its Media Center, Home and, later, XP Professional and Vista Business editions. In short, the company failed to remain stable at the current pace of sales, which proves that Jobs was right in his thinking that a very basic computer was impossible to remain strong on the market, even if well produced.
In a note, OQO announced that it would not even be able to support current customers, with a tone of deep disappointment. However, a statement made by his senior vice president of sales and marketing, Bob Rosin, showed hints that the engineering and technology teams could continue together, should a larger manufacturer be interested in them in the future.