I had known for some time that Kristoffer Lawson has been working on some ambitious project he don’t want to reveal details until it is ready for launch. Firts there was promotional video features Finnish hip-hop star Paleface. Now it is the time to reveal the product. From Finland becomes again an ambitious new startup that intends to revolutionize computing market, as well as to make available a new kind of operating system. Does that sound like Jolla? Solu intends to operate a leaner organization and a different business model. Three ambitious engineers from Finland are bidding to change personal computing with a new portable computer and operating system. Now the company has 13 employees.
Entrepreneur Kristoffer Lawson says that personal computers haven’t changed much in 20 years. The computer mouse dates back to 1941, most operating systems have not changed drastically since 1980′s. But Lawson thinks that the era of cloud computing deserves its own kind of computing device: Portable, but more powerful than a mobile, designed to be plugged into any desktop screen and with a new kind of operating system. Solu claims to be the world’s smallest general-purpose computer with a revolutionary operating system, an intuitive user interface and a unique subscription model.
Solu computer is four-inch wide block of curved, wood-encased computer with an edge-to-edge touch screen. Inside is a powerful 2.3GHz processor, battery and Wi-Fi capability. Looks like a tiny tablet. It can be used on its own or paired with a keyboard and a display up to a resolution of 4K. When it is connected USB cable to the display and the keyboard so that it becomes a computer. Or the touch screen allows the cell unit as an independent mobile device or it can be can be connected to your computer and used as touch mouse.
It began pre-sales of the product on Thursday evening (October 15) Finnish time at its San Francisco launch. KickStart’s pre-sale device costs around $ 400. Delivery of the equipment subscribers will begin next spring. Solu has launched on Kickstarter for €349, including three months’ subscription. The aim is to sell the device close to the manufacturing cost and the business model is based on the fact that users are billed a monthly fee for cloud services: computer-as-a-service subscription model offers unlimited access to apps for a monthly fee.
I can see some similarities what Ubuntu smart phones promised and also similarities to Google’s Chromebook. It is hard ot say if this will succeed in the market. At the moment start looks good on the Kickstarter. It is left to be seen how well. I think I have to see this device in real life to see if this revolutionary or not – I am not fully convinced yet. Another question is there place on market for a new player to push into? Nice ideas don’t guarantee success. For Solu to succeed, Lawson and his team need to convince people to ditch an operating system they’re used to, on hardware they trust – and also convince the developers to be ready play by their rules.
I hope all good for this Finnish start-up as it plans to manufacture the devices in Finland.