words with friends

Today in Tech: Is Microsoft's mobile moment finally here?

August 29, 2012: 5:00 AM ET

The behind-the-scenes story of video game startup OnLive's demise; Zynga loses its Chief Creative Officer.

Microsoft's mobile moment: Will consumers buy in? [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]

For wireless store manager Luke Connell, the problem with Windows phones is that he can't play the popular game "Words With Friends." For Swedish designer Jacob Ravn, the issue is that the Microsoft phone interface doesn't match the iPhone's ease of use. And for Ryan Matzner, a director at the mobile software consultant Fueled, there aren't enough people using Microsoft phones for him to recommend clients build new games and services.

"I would love to develop Windows apps, but that ecosystem just isn't there," Mr. Matzner said.

OnLive lost: how the paradise of streaming games was undone by one man's ego [THE VERGE]

The problem was simple. OnLive never made any money, and it was burning through as much as $5 million a month. As Perlman himself explained during the fateful all-hands meeting, the company had deployed thousands of servers that were sitting unused, and only ever had 1,600 concurrent users of the service worldwide. Over the past week, OnLive has tried to distance itself from that 1,600 number, but every former employee we spoke to in a position to know told us that it was true.

Zynga's Chief Creative Officer Mike Verdu exits to start a new company [ALLTHINGSD]

Verdu said he will be leaving Zynga effective today to start his new venture. He declined to disclose the name of the company, but said that Zynga will both invest in it and that Zynga will be the publisher of his games on its third-party platform. He'll be focusing on developing mobile games, he says, which is one of Zynga's weak spots.

Bargain seekers broaden Manhattan's Silicon Alley [THE NEW YORK TIMES]

Today, though, that Rubicon is being regularly crossed by a new generation of digital businesses that seem willing to trade Lower Manhattan and its perceived hipness for the more button-down precincts of Midtown. More than 100 Internet-based marketing firms, retailers and social networking companies are based in the area between the Flatiron Building and Central Park, out of about 1,400 similar businesses across the city, according to data compiled by NYC Digital, an initiative started last year by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to promote the city's technology industry.

  • The problem with Zynga's growth

    Zynga has a short but rich history of defying expectations -- including its stock price which is up. So why are people so bearish on the social gaming company?

    By Kevin Kelleher, contributor

    FORTUNE -- Zynga (ZNGA) has a short but rich history of defying expectations. Last summer, Zynga was expected to be worth as much as $20 billion as a public company. Turn out, it was worth $7 billion when it MORE

    Apr 2, 2012 10:43 AM ET
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