The technology business week: PopCap may close Dublin office, Kodak to sell off film business

27 Aug 2012

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In what has been a high octane week in the technology business world Apple overtook Microsoft in historical overall stock value, PopCap Games is examining the future of its Dublin offices, Sony is to shed 1,000 workers and move its Mobile HQ from Sweden to Japan and Kodak is to sell off its legendary film business.

PopCap may close its Dublin office as it begins ‘reduction in force’

PopCap Games, makers of the popular Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies games, is cutting 50 jobs mostly at its Seattle headquarters. It has admitted that it is in ‘exploratory consultation’ about the future of its offices in Dublin.

PopCap Games was acquired by Electronic Arts (EA Games) in July last year for over US$750m.

Last year it announced plans to expand its workforce in Dublin to 110. It employs 400 people worldwide.

Writing in the company blog PopCap co-founder John Vechey said: “‘Reduction In Force’ means that some people are losing their jobs. ‘Exploratory consultation’ means we’re talking to our Dublin team about the future of that office and whether we can find a path to improve our profitability in Europe without having to close the operation.

Apple surpasses Microsoft as world’s most valuable company in terms of stock

Apple overtook Microsoft as the largest US company ever in terms of stock price. The California technology giant hit a closing high of US$623.5bn compared with Microsoft’s closing high of US$616.3bn in December 1999.

Of course if it was all just a matter of comparing apples with well Microsofts it would be so easy. Apple is riding high on a number of key factors: a stellar consistency in terms of financial results (recent Q3 revenues were US$35bn with profits of US$8.8bn; an incredibly desirable technology family from iPads and iPhones to Macs and iPods; and exciting technology pipeline in terms of upcoming products from the iPhone 5, a smaller iPad and even a rumoured TV.

Microsoft is today worth US$257bn; but its importance to the technology world and its technology pipeline is every bit as viable and exciting as Apple’s.

Kodak to sell off legacy film business to raise cash

Bankrupt imaging giant Kodak is to sell off the very print film business that made it a force in the first place. The company plans to auction its legacy business in a bid to raise cash and move out of Chapter 11 administration by 2013.

Founded in 1889 Kodak helped ignite the consumer photography business by making film available to the masses.

However, the company was wrong footed by the onset of the digital age and its fortunes plummeted. It filed for bankruptcy in January this year.

Consumers holding out for Windows 8 and new devices stymies PC industry growth

The global PC market is set to grow less than 1pc in the second quarter of 2012 and analysts are suggesting consumers are holding onto their money until the next generations of computers come on the scene with Windows 8 later in the year.

According to IDC 367 million PCs will ship into the market this year, up just a fraction of a percent from 2011 and marking the second consecutive year of growth below 2pc.

Mature markets like the US have seen volumes decline while emerging markets in Asia/Pacific have also seen growth slow down.

Consumers are recession-weary but are also waiting to see what Windows 8 and ultrabook products will look like and area also considering their options in terms of tablet computer devices like the iPad and various smartphones.

Microsoft heralds a new era with an update to its 25-year-old logo

After 25 years with the same look, a makeover is surely due. Just in time for its autumn product releases, Microsoft is shedding its old image – not entirely, but enough to prompt some ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ – and emerging with a new, clean, modern logo.

Practically the entire Microsoft suite is being overhauled, so why not the brand itself. The new logo isn’t a grand departure from the old one, but it is a simpler design more suited to its upcoming releases and the UI-formerly-known-as-Metro.

The idea is to completely refresh the brand for a new era, with a common look and feel across all its products and services. The font of choice, Segoe, is the same font used in Microsoft’s products and its marketing communications, while the symbol represents a world of digital motion, with squares of colour meant to reflect the company’s diverse portfolio.

Sony Mobile to axe 1,000 jobs worldwide – moving HQ from Sweden to Tokyo

Electronics giant Sony is to cut 1,000 jobs as it moves its Sony Mobile headquarters from Lund in Sweden to Tokyo. The majority of the jobs – 650 of them – will be lost in Sweden.

Sony Mobile said this morning that it is embarking on a global restructure of its development sites in Tokyo, Sweden and Beijing and will move its corporate headquarters from Lund to Tokyo.

This will cost around 650 jobs in Sweden. Sony Mobile has filed a redundancy notification with the Swedish authorities. Lund, it said, will remain an important strategic site for Sony in terms of software and application development.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com