I wasn't sure where to put this post, since it will touch on several issues, but since it was an OSX upgrade that got me to thinking about it, I'll put it here. Let's just say that the honeymoon between Apple and I seems to be over. I, like most on here, own several Apple products: 2 MacBook Pro's, 3 iPhones including a 5, a 2TB Time Capsule, and an absolute plethora of itouch's and iPods. There was a time when the Apple brand was used to make a statement: it showed that you thought different, went against the grain. You bought into a scrappy small company because of what it stood for, and how much better it did the whole "PC thing". Apple had a small following (when compared to Windows), but those followers were immensely loyal, and dealt with the pro's & con's of going Apple because they believed in what the company mission was: to offer a better PC solution than the competition. Over the years, Apple had many small successes, some bigger than others. Then came the iPhone, and that changed everything for Apple. Their revenue statements exploded into the stratosphere, and success beyond anyone's wildest expectations were achieved. With this success, I've watched Apple's mission slowly change. Instead of just offering a better PC or technology solution, they also would like to appeal to the masses, and use any tactic possible to succeed in the fiercely competitive tech business. They seem to be succeeding at appealing to the masses, particularly with the success of the iPhone. I'm finding some of their tactics however, to go against their original mission of offering a better PC or tech solution, and will be losing some customers because of it. Case in point: My MacBook Pro was purchased mid 2011, just prior to the new model's coming preloaded with Lion, so I've got a Snow Leopard model. Being new to Mac, and finding them to have an amazing laptop, I was pretty happy with my purchase. Then Lion came out, offering all sorts of extra and new features, and it was available to me for free since I had just purchased the laptop recently. I downloaded it, and installed it. Then I learned what a steaming pile of garbage the first release of Lion was, and promptly reloaded Snow Leopard. The lesson for me was, even though these are Apple products, it's still a good idea to wait until at least .2 or .3 of any OS to before upgrading, as many bugs and issues will be repaired by then. I was honestly surprised that Apple released such an unfinished OS, and I started to think a little differently of Apple. Yes they are still an awesome company making some fantastic products, but they too can release buggy unfinished OS's to the public, and use us as beta testers. A year, later, Mountain Lion comes around, to much better reviews. It has some features I wouldn't mind having, such as syncing with iCloud which would make using my iPhone and future iPad a much more wonderful experience. This time, however, I played it a little smarter. I waited until .2 to drop the hammer, purchased Mountain Lion, and installed onto my machine. The upgrade went very smooth, and everything worked fine. Time to activate iCloud so I can sync my data. However, I know Google offers similar services, and I might want to try them as well before deciding which cloud service I will use. No point having all your eggs in one basket right? That's when I learned something unbelievable, and all users of iCloud should know this: If you sync iCal to iCloud, your calendar data is now Apple's data, not yours. You can manipulate the data, add to it, even delete it, but you can't have it back. Allow me to explain. I went into iCloud settings in Mountain Lion, and turned on calendar syncing. The OS asks you if you'd like to merge your calendar info with the calendar in iCloud? You have to say "yes", or iCloud doesn't activate. So I click yes, my 14yrs of calendar events uploads to iCloud, and syncs with my machine. Everything's working great. However, I'm just in the testing stages and I wouldn't mind comparing it to Google's calendar. I go back into iCloud settings, to turn off iCloud syncing of calendars. At this point, you would think that a mere disconnect would happen, leaving your data on iCloud & your Mac, or provide you with some options of what you'd like to do. Nope, it simply asks, "are you sure you want to remove calendar syncing? Doing so will remove all calendar info from iCloud AND your Mac. If you click no, iCloud keeps functioning. If you click yes, your calendar data is removed from both iCloud, AND your Mac!! Gone, forever. No option to keep your data. So if you decide you want to put your calendar on your shiny new windows PC or your new Android phone, you are SOL. The only way to access that calendar data in future is from iCloud web portal or an Apple product, and you can forget about having that data back. What is that? A slimy attempt to force customers to replace their technology products with another Apple product? I'd love someone to explain this to me. Luckily, I had a backup of the calendar data in my Time Capsule and was able to restore it to my Mac. Another example of Apple forcing you to their cloud. iTunes sync to iPhone no longer supports syncing of notes in OSX Mountain Lion! The feature is just gone. If you want to sync your notes to your phone and Mac, yup, you've got to use iCloud. Luckily, you can also use Google IMAP to do this, but you've still got to put your notes in the cloud, and is no longer as secure or as private as it was on your home PC. I understand that iCloud has some great benefits in terms of syncing Apple products together, but wow, not even giving us the option to choose how we sync our data? There's a lot of info many of us don't want in the cloud! For every new OS, Apple always goes to great lengths to explain all the new features of the OS, and how wonderful it is to get them. However, it sure isn't easy to find out what features they've removed, and believe me, they always remove features. Sync notes to iPhone locally was a pretty big one for me. How about doubling the time it takes to load up and shut down your Mac? How about decreasing battery life time to nearly half? I think Apple needs to be more transparent in terms of what you can and can't do in iCloud, and what features are lost in newer versions of their OS's, rather than waiting for MacRumors forums to fill up with complaints. If Apple truly believes they've got a loyal following, there's no need to hold people's data hostage, or remove useful features in lieu of "other" methods. Give us more choice, and we'll stay loyal. Remove our options, and we will look elsewhere. I think this is a huge reason why phones like the Galaxy S3 are doing so well. Well, I'm back on Snow Leopard, and will probably remain there until I run into some new software than won't run on it. Then I'll be eyeing a new Windows PC I guess, unless Apple goes back to their original mission statement that got them here in the first place.