THE NEWS WRAP: Apple to give away operating system and iWork upgrades to Mac customers

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has unveiled a new version of its iPad and announced free operating system and productivity suite upgrades for its MacBook and Mac customers.


Under the changes, new versions of its Mac OS X operating system and iWork productivity software will be offered as a free download for all its Mac users.


“We are turning the industry on its ear, but this is not why we’re doing it. We want our customers to have our latest software, “Cook says.


The company also announced a new line-up of Macs and a new “slimmer, lighter” version of its iPad tablet known as the iPad Air.


“Our competition is different: They’re confused. Now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they’ll do next?” Cook says.


“We have a very clear direction and a very ambitious goal. We still believe deeply in this category and we’re not slowing down on our innovation.”


Bushfires and natural disasters set to increase insurance premiums


One of the world’s largest insurance brokers has predicted the cost of insurance is set to rise as a result of increasingly frequent natural disasters.


Jardine Lloyd Thompson chief executive Dominic Burke says the increasing frequency of natural disasters is likely to push up the price of reinsurance, which is used by major insurance brokers to manage their risks.


“There were 205 catastrophe events in 2012 and that doubled in number since 1980, and 2011 saw the costliest year for catastrophes, which cost insurers $US435 billion, but only 40 per cent of those losses were insured,” he said.


“Is that cost embedded in current pricing? I think it would be fair to say unlikely.”


Seven set to launch internet TV channel


Seven West Media has announced plans to launch a new television channel targeting the health market, which will be delivered to internet-enabled TVs over the internet.


“We’ve identified health as a category we want to get into. It gives clients in pharmaceuticals and health-related categories the ability to build content inside the channel. We can see a huge opportunity,” Seven chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette says.


“We need to scale the audience. This will be a dynamic build: you don’t want to just jump into it and make a channel for the sake of it.”




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.49% to 15467. The Aussie dollar is up to US97.12 cents.


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