Eric Johnson

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New Acer PCs Will Launch Preloaded With Pokki-Powered Games, Including Zynga’s

Acer_Games_PokkiWindows app platform Pokki is moving on up — a suite of games running on its app technology will be preloaded onto all new Acer PCs.

The end result of the partnership between Pokki and Acer is an “arcade” (essentially, a games-only app store) officially branded as Acer Games. New owners of Acer notebooks, desktops and all-in-ones will find a shortcut to the arcade in their desktop taskbars, or alongside other applications in Windows 8’s Metro grid of multicolored rectangles. However, the partnership extends to all versions of Windows.

Pokki runs an app store for Windows that allows users to download special app-ified versions of Web apps. Unlike a bookmark saved in one’s Internet browser, a Pokki app looks like a desktop app, and opens in a custom single-use WebKit-based browser. Then, like a mobile app, it can send push notifications to your desktop.

In a separate but simultaneous partnership, Pokki is bringing all of Zynga’s Web games to the Acer Games application. In the past, the company has offered Pokki-fied versions of Zynga Poker and Words With Friends, but the new arrangement adds games like FarmVille 2, CityVille and Matching With Friends to the mix.

Other non-Zynga titles available through Acer Games include Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, Cut the Rope, The Godfather and Dragons of Atlantis.

Chester Ng, the co-founder of Pokki’s parent company SweetLabs, said it takes a couple days to convert Web games for Pokki. Developers must choose whether or not they want to offer features like a full-screen mode or touch integration. Ng said the advantage to offering a game as an app is the convenience of accessing it outside of one’s Internet browser, as well as the ability to download and install it in one click, a la mobile.

Despite its accelerating platform ambitions, Ng’s company is currently best known for an app it published itself: A modernized start menu for Windows 8, integrating Pokki’s app store, which AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg reviewed last month.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald