re: Apple Obsolescence Debate: More Analysis Please, Fanboys
You don't seem to really understand the conversation, so stop just defending and listen.
To answer your points:
"Yes, Apple is "arbitrarily deciding to make iCloud break if you don't upgrade your desktop OS" (although it is not really "arbitrarily")."
It is arbitrary, depending on how you look at it. I also know if Microsoft announced any type of change like this for, say, Hotmail, that would only work with Windows 7, they'd get killed.
"OS X Lion, and the Apple applications that come with Lion, are built with iCloud integration. It is unfeasible to develop and re-issue installers for each of the older versions of OS X with this same integration, and it would be prohibitively expensive for Apple to do this."
And here's where you are completely missing the point. There's 5 parts of iCloud. You seem to think that, if all five parts is unwieldy to integrate, then just blow off all the old people. This is what irritates many mac users (esp. those who HATE Lion and have not upgraded - I know, even die-hard Mac users actually hate something from Apple).
The only part I'll grant you on 'unfeasible' is iCloud documents. But, let's be honest, that is the by far the smallest and least important parts of iCloud. I've yet to hear one person talking about this whole icloud incompatibility and even mention documents. Or even photostream.
The three parts that people want are the three they HAD with MobileMe. Mail, contacts, and calendar. Apple talks up open-standards, and apparently uses them for contacts and calendars. Yet they can't even make a simple change to iCal or Address Book in Snow Leopard to add in the support. Nor can they make server-side changes to make it easy to set up manually. Heck, the only reason I think mail works is that it would be way too hard to figure out how to make it incompatible on earlier macs without breaking Windows support!
That's all I want from iCloud. I want my calendar and Address Book syncing. I know, I ask too much. Poor apple. The money and effort and resources they'd have to spend on such a task would drive them into bankruptcy!
"That is why Apple offers a free upgrade to Lion for MobileMe users. This solves the problem of not being able to switch to the (better) iCloud service."
This is the obsolesence part. But I see you miss the point. I don't want to switch to Lion. But in order to use this so-called 'better' service (um, how is it better, by the way? Because it doesn't offer iDisk, keychain syncing, and web hosting?) I HAVE to upgrade. This is like how my mother had to upgrade to Leopard in order to get an iPad on her iMac, OR just use the 10 year-old XP machine in the other room.
It is hard to come up with any reason Apple has decided to leave out Snow Leopard users from iCloud except for one: Lion adoption has stunk up the joint, and the OS has received plenty of flame from many long-time users (including this "using a Mac since 1984" person - but I stopped drinking the kool aid about 10 years ago). Apple doesn't like it when people don't follow their lead, so they try to force their users into that hole.
But, I know, I'm just a windows apologist and mac troller. I must be. I wrote criticism of Apple.