By: Rob Black - Mon, 11 Jun 2012 12:13:58 -0800
Loser: EU’s €100 Billion Bailout Not Enough For a Rally
Winner: Apple Worldwide Developers Conference
Apple is releasing a fresh lineup of computers and software tools to woo consumers and keep developers making applications amid accelerating rivalry from Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Apple will use debut Mac computers with high-definition screens, as well as features for the software that powers its iPhone and iPad. Leadership in the consumer-electronics industry hinges on a company’s ability to get developers to put its products first when building the next big application, such as “Angry Birds”or “Shazam.” With more than 600,000 downloadable games, magazines and productivity tools, Apple is the application leader. Microsoft is playing catch-up before the release of its next operating system, Google will host a developers conference this month and Facebook just opened its own store. It’s not just a battle for consumers hearts and minds --it’s a battle for developers to get that next great application to be available first and foremost on their platform. “
Loser: Facebook Days of Wild User Growth Appear Over Facebook's user growth rate in the U.S. is slowing sharply. In April, U.S. unique visitors to the website increased to 158 million, up just 5% from a year earlier. That is down from 24% growth in April 2011 and 89% in April 2010.At the same time, the growth rate in the amount of time people spend on the social network—otherwise known as engagement—is also decelerating. In April, Facebook users spent more than six hours a month on the site, up 16% from a year earlier. But that compares with a 23% increase in 2011 and 57% in 2010.In some ways, the slowdown is to be expected. Facebook has already grabbed 71% of all 221 million U.S. Internet users. At the same time, people already are on Facebook longer than any other site..
Winner: UnitedHealth to Keep Parts of Health Care OverhaulInsurer UnitedHealth Group sees some parts of the health care overhaul as sound medicine and plans to keep them regardless of whether the law survives an upcoming Supreme Court ruling.
The nation's largest health insurer said it will still cover preventive care like immunizations without charging a co-payment, which is the fee usually paid at the doctor's office.
The supreme court is expected to issue a ruling as early as this week that could strike down the entire law or parts of it or uphold it.Regardless of the court's ruling, UnitedHealth will continue to offer dependent coverage to adult children up to age 26 who seek coverage through parental plans, and it won't impose lifetime dollar limits on how much an insurance policy pays out to cover claims. That can help people fighting cancer or another expensive, chronic illness.UnitedHealth did not promise to extend another initial overhaul provision that requires the coverage of children with pre-existing conditions up to age 19.
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