OQO emphasizes 'disruption' for mini-PC

SAN FRANCISCO: Tech start-up OQO is generating heavy media coverage for its pocket-sized PC, succeeding where others have failed by stressing the "disruptive" nature of the technology.

SAN FRANCISCO: Tech start-up OQO is generating heavy media coverage for its pocket-sized PC, succeeding where others have failed by stressing the "disruptive" nature of the technology.

The company has been working with Parachute Marketing to drive PR and media coverage of the 4.9-by-3.4-inch, 14 ounce computer. It has a 1Ghz processor, a 20GB hard drive, 256MB of RAM, and a color screen.

Thus far, OQO has generated excitement by focusing on how the tiny PC changes - or "disrupts" - the way people normally use a PC, said Elizabeth Bastiaanse, VP of marketing.

The media strategy relies on tech journalists' penchant for covering technologies, such as TiVo or the iPod, that change the ways people participate in everyday activities.

"There hasn't been much innovation when it comes to the PC market," said Bastiaanse. "We're talking about how this will change the way people will interact with their PCs."

OQO's media coverage has included BusinessWeek, InformationWeek, MSNBC, and ZDNet, as well as an AP story that was picked up nationally.

While initial PR efforts have focused on getting the product into journalists' hands, follow-up initiatives will talk about how the PC changes the way people do business.

Reuters used the mini-PCs to cover Election Day last week, said Bastiaanse.

CNET recently pointed out that mini-PCs from such companies as Sony Electronics and Antelope Technologies are not selling well.

But OQO hopes to be the exception, and heavy media coverage is a start. OQO is also highlighting features, such as an attachable keyboard, that make PCs of this size easier to use.

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