Today in Tech: Is Microsoft's new logo hit or miss?

August 23, 2012: 1:11 PM ET

Sony Mobile laying off 1,000 people; why the freemium business model isn't all it's cracked up to be. 

Microsoft gets a new logo [THE SEATTLE TIMES]

The new logo, which incorporates a multicolored Windows symbol in addition to the "Microsoft" name in straightforward, lighter type, is intended to "signal the heritage but also signal the future — a newness and freshness," said Jeff Hansen, Microsoft's general manager of brand strategy. It's coming at a time when the company is preparing to launch new or significantly updated versions of nearly every one of its products, from Windows to Windows Phone to Office.

OnLive owed $30 million to $40 million, was facing imminent shutdown [SILICON VALLEY MERCURY NEWS]

"It was a company that was in dire straits. It only had days to live in terms of cash flow and the like," said Weinberg, whose firm's role in the OnLive insolvency process is similar to that of a bankruptcy trustee. "Something had to be done immediately or there would have been a hard shutdown, which would have been a disaster."

When freemium fails [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]

Yet for some, the "freemium" strategy is turning out to be a costly trap, leaving them with higher operating costs and thousands of freeloaders. That's what happened to Chargify LLC, a provider of billing-management software to small businesses, which used the freemium business model when it started out in 2009.

Sony Mobile to lay off 1,000 people, move HQ to Tokyo from Sweden as part of restructuring [TECHCRUNCH]

Today, Android OEM Sony announced that its loss-making mobile handset division Sony Mobile Communications would be laying out 15% of its workforce — 1,000 people approximately — as part of a bigger restructuring. It will also move its HQ and "certain other functions" from Lund, Sweden to Tokyo, Japan in October 2012. It looks like the main impact will be in Sweden in terms of layoffs, as Sony moves the operation closer to home base: 650 in Lund, with the rest "primarily consultants in Sweden." The process is due to complete by March 2014 "as the company seeks to increase operational efficiency, reduce costs and drive profitable growth."

Facebook rewrites its code for a small-screen world [THE NEW YORK TIMES]

Facebook's executives say the company is diving deep into mobile, starting with new versions of its apps for the iPhone and iPad, which it released Thursday. Users had complained that the apps were terribly sluggish; more than half of those who have rated the iPhone app in the Apple App Store gave it one star out of five. The new apps are faster because they were rewritten in the native programming language of Apple's devices, replacing most of the Web-based technology used in previous versions.

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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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