Activation Lock helps keep your iPhone and personal data safe. In the early days of the iPhone, devices were more easily stolen and wiped for resale on the black market. Thanks to Activation Lock and Find My, devices are kept secure from anyone who's not the rightful owner. A lost iPhone can even be erased remotely. Without your Apple ID and password an iPhone cannot be erased or reactivated, and Find My cannot be switched off.
Yes, Windows users can get full access to iCloud services right on their PC.
To use iCloud the PC must be running Windows 7 or later. Installing the iCloud app on Windows provides access to services including photo syncing, calendars, contacts, reminders, notes, files, and messages.
Apple makes it possible to transfer all of your data from an older iPhone directly to a new device. The entire process takes place wirelessly with both iPhones in close proximity to each other. While data can be transferred using other methods, such as a computer backup, the Quick Start method is simplest. Note that some data or apps will be downloaded from iCloud or the App Store directly when using this process.
Apple iCloud+ offers increased privacy while browsing with Safari on iPhone and iPad. Device owners can enable iCloud Private Relay at any time, as it comes packaged free with the purchase of iCloud storage. This means anyone with an iCloud storage subscription can easily hide their IP address and web traffic. Not only does iCloud Private Relay hide this information from your ISP and the sites you visit, but Apple can't even see your activity.
Fans of Google services are not locked into using iCloud Photos to backup their images. Google Photos offers 15 GB of free storage and many features such as Google Lens, facial recognition, and image compression options. The iPhone can be configured to automatically upload pictures to Google Photos instead of the iCloud Photo Library.