New Apple OS restricts consumer choices

Flickr / Christopher Aloi

Flickr / Christopher Aloi

Some Mac users had an unpleasant surprise waiting for them after updating to the new operating system, OS X Yosemite.

Overall, the new operating system looked sleek and beautiful. But hidden in the code was a new feature that essentially crashed the computers of anyone with a non-Apple hard drive.

It’s relatively common for tech-savvy users to buy a laptop and install a separate solid-state (faster) hard drive to save money and increase performance. But Apple’s new system prohibits these hard drives from starting up the computer unless the drive is approved by Apple.

Technically, there are ways to get around the new policy change and use your own hard drive. Already, Cindori Software has posted a guide for how to beat the new feature – but it requires a bit of technical know-how.

Additionally, the solution exposes your computer to more security risk. Cindori describes it as “taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut.”

And it’s unclear what Apple’s real motives are with the policy change. “This is a means of enforcing security, but also a way for Apple to control what hardware that third party developers can release OS X support for,” says Cindori.

Joel Hruska at HOT Hardware puts it this way: “Apple is now guaranteeing that a subset of its users — typically its power users and biggest spenders — are going to be forced to disable important security systems to make full use of their hardware.”

This isn’t the first time Apple has pursued measures that restrict consumer’s choices. The company is known for anticompetitive policies, especially in application development, eBooks, and music.

Apple’s new policy forces consumers to choose better security or better hard drive performance at a cheaper price. They cannot have both.

It turns out the “world’s most advanced desktop operating system” is also making some consumers’ lives more difficult.

First published at Opportunity Lives