End of Software Support - Clarifications

End of Software Support - Clarifications
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We announced yesterday that some of our oldest Sonos products will be moving into a legacy mode in May of 2020. Our commitment is to support products with regular software updates for a minimum of five years after we stop selling them, and we have a track record of supporting products far longer. 

Here is some public information we’ve shared, gathered into one place to respond to some of your questions in one easy thread, so that people can find the correct information easily.

Beginning in May, software updates and new features from Sonos will only be delivered to systems with only modern products.

After May, systems that include legacy products will continue to work as before - but they will no longer receive software updates or new features. 

Sonos will work to maintain the existing experience and conduct bug fixes, but our efforts will ultimately be limited by the lack of memory and processing power of these legacy products.

We don’t expect any immediate impact to your experience, but access to services and overall functionality will eventually be disrupted, particularly as partners evolve their own services and features. 

 

Customers with both legacy and modern products have time to decide what option is best for them. You can continue to use your whole system in legacy mode - in this case, it will stop receiving updates and new features. 

You will also be able to separate your legacy products from your modern products, so that the modern products can still receive updates and new features, and legacy products can still be used separately. We’ll have more information on how to do this in May when you can take that action.

Another option available to all customers with legacy products is to take advantage of the Trade Up program, which allows you to upgrade older Sonos products to modern ones with a 30% discount. Trade Up will be open to customers at any time should they decide to upgrade. 

We recognize this is new for Sonos owners, just as it is for Sonos. We are committed to help you by making options available to you to support the best decision for your home.
 

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate with asking.

Update 2/22: A message from our CEO

We heard you. We did not get this right from the start. My apologies for that and I wanted to personally assure you of the path forward:

First, rest assured that come May, when we end new software updates for our legacy products, they will continue to work as they do today. We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence, and we are not taking anything away. Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intend to honor that investment for as long as possible. While legacy Sonos products won’t get new software features, we pledge to keep them updated with bug fixes and security patches for as long as possible. If we run into something core to the experience that can’t be addressed, we’ll work to offer an alternative solution and let you know about any changes you’ll see in your experience.

Secondly, we heard you on the issue of legacy products and modern products not being able to coexist in your home. We are working on a way to split your system so that modern products work together and get the latest features, while legacy products work together and remain in their current state. We’re finalizing details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks.

While we have a lot of great products and features in the pipeline, we want our customers to upgrade to our latest and greatest products when they’re excited by what the new products offer, not because they feel forced to do so. That’s the intent of the trade up program we launched for our loyal customers.

Thank you for being a Sonos customer. Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. I hope that you’ll forgive our misstep, and let us earn back your trust. Without you, Sonos wouldn’t exist and we’ll work harder than ever to earn your loyalty every single day.

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Patrick Spence
CEO, Sonos


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@Ryan S

So you will provide software updates to Sonos devices now known as "legacy products".?

"will work to maintain the existing experience and conduct bug fixes, but our efforts will ultimately be limited by the lack of memory and processing power of these legacy products."

Still unclear whether legacy and non Legacy will be interoperable? Question is also asked here:

https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985/end-of-software-support-clarifications-6835969#post16394588

Not a good look closing that other thread, you should rethink that.

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I am a long time Sonos user and have spent thousands of dollars on your products. I am no longer going to spend a single penny on your products any more. 
 

I don’t even own these ”obsolete” products. I’m just worried now you’re going to do the same thing to the speakers I bought only 4 years ago. I can’t trust any speaker you sell today will become obsolete in a couple of years. I want my system to continue to receive updates and work with older speakers.

 

What a shame. I felt so much loyalty to Sonos

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How to destroy a brand in one easy go. You had real loyal customers and whoever made this decision just doesn’t seem to care 30% discount what a joke. 

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So Sonos will still release firmware to fix bugs. Will a streaming service that is currently supported changing API be considered a bug and receive a fix on legacy hardware?

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Sonos

 

I have spent £1,250+ on Sonos products over the years. And have been largely happy with them. I opted to buy a high quality system that would last.

 

Your decision to withdraw software updates for my products highlights the contempt you have for me as a loyal customer. As a tech analyst I am very familiar with both the improvements in tech over the last decade and the cost implications of supporting older products.  this decision has everything to do with reducing costs and trying to boost sales via replacement to meet quarterly numbers. In an age where we need to reduce consumption of materials, the idea that these products could be legacy after five years is offensive.

 

If you go ahead with this decision I will never purchase another product.

dan

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You will also be able to separate your legacy products from your modern products, so that the modern products can still receive updates and new features, and legacy products can still be used separately. We’ll have more information on how to do this in May when you can take that action.

 

You missed out a vital point, does this mean the legacy and modern will be interoperable? Or completely seperate? I am fine with my legacy speakers not getting updates, but I want my modern speakers to get updates and new features. I then EXPECT to be still able to group music between legacy and modern.

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This is shocking, it feels like “upgrade and pay us or else...”. Unless they change direction I will never buy another Sonos product again. I have 6 speakers currently and have spent thousands of pounds. 

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I was just about to post on the original thread, I pressed “Send” and the system reports that the thread is closed?  OK, then I’ll take my comments to a third-party like BBC News.

Closing one thread down and opening another one in its place is a Sonos first? As much as the anger with Sonos making news on the BBC is?:smile:

Sonos will work to maintain the existing experience and conduct bug fixes, but our efforts will ultimately be limited by the lack of memory and processing power of these legacy products.

You will also be able to separate your legacy products from your modern products, so that the modern products can still receive updates and new features, and legacy products can still be used separately. We’ll have more information on how to do this in May when you can take that action.

As far as I can tell, the italic above is being highlighted for the first time, so that is progress.

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This is a re-post since the original thread was closed moments after I posted this:

With six of my Sonos devices now considered legacy, I will largely abandon Sonos and reconfigure my system in a more centralized way - like I had before Sonos.  Fortunately, many of my “common” rooms have ceiling speakers wired to a closet. If I use Sonos to drive these, I will probably just have one unit as a source for a third party multi-zone amp. For the rooms that have Sonos speakers (mostly bedrooms), I will replace Sonos with less expensive alternatives. I have no need for these to be part of a central system since the bedrooms are rarely grouped with other zones.

There is a lesson in all this and it extends beyond Sonos.  Many of us have “invested” heavily on Sonos and other smart products like lighting. The truth is that buying Sonos and other smart products is not an investment, it’s spending on disposable goods.  What’s happening will continue to happen and it is causing me to rethink my approach.  Less is more, and all I really want is to listen to music across my home in a pain free way.  I once needed Sonos for that, but that is no longer the case.  With a little work I can build a new system that works the way I need and doesn’t put me at the mercy of any one company.

I now look forward to the thousands I’ve spent in HUE lighting and other smart devices to be rendered obsolete. Good times.

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This is terrible news, but not surprising, given that Sonos have already bricked the CR100, the Dock and reduced functionality on the CR200 to just being a fancy volume control. 

 

There are many discussions in the Community about how a large percentage of us bought Sonos to play content from our own music libraries, but that Sonos are focussed on the streaming generation; how many of them can afford the Sonos system? 

 

Since the withdrawal of both the CR100 and CR200 controllers, this means that the Sonos system is basically just for personal music; if there’s no controller, how can guests, visitors and party attendees change the music?  Sonos, you need to wake up and see how many people are now buying kit like the Ruark line so that they have something that can go on a shelf and be controlled by different people, not just the person who has their phone in their pocket and has to unlock it,  access the app then try and select what they want to do.

 

Personally, I’ll opt out of the updates and wish that I had done this before.  I can’t imagine what other services they will introduce apart from more streaming stuff that I don’t use anyway.

 

I agree with all of the other contributors here who have said that they made an investment in Sonos, hoping that it would last the 20+ years that other hi-fi systems have.  We now have to realise that Sonos is disposable kit, and too expensive to buy any more that will only last a few years.

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VERY bad move closing the prior thread. You’re now encouraging this emotion to spill over to third-party sites which will make this go viral. Come on Sonos, own this cluster and work with your loyal community to come up with a better plan together.

 

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This is so sad.

I'm still using the sweet Bose Acoustimass III speakers I bought 25 years ago and they sound great hooked up to a Connect:Amp. Well at least the speakers still work great today, the Amp is now headed towards obsolesence.

Those 70 year old McIntosh tube amps still work great too, and they keep adding new brand advocates to their stable.

Ever since seeing the first Sonos at CES 15 years ago, I have spent more than $5k on Sonos gear (probably close to $10k), including sub-woofers, sound bars, amps, speakers, etc. etc.  And now most of it is likely to become completely worthless. I've been a huge brand advocate for you guys, leading to many, many more sales - but no more. This is not how you treat your longest and best customers. 

Even just putting the products into a non-supported zombie mode won’t cut it.  

I will no longer recommend your products.

It was a great run, but I have had enough.

This is going to be a great marketing case study soon about how a once promising company ticked off their most dedicated customers and either rapidly spiraled down to irrelevance, or did the right thing and rolled back this crazy action. Let's see which way it goes.

 

jim

 

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Well done SONOS!

For the second time in as many months you are again trending on the BBC News site (Sonos speaker update sparks anger https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51206604) though this is all over the web today.  And yes I agree that limiting the functionality of the desktop (PC) controller was a mistake.  Given what is likely to happen in the coming months, you make like to overturn this, too.

Cheers and probably goodbye, though you’ve still not answered my question.  While only posed yesterday I had a devil of a job even finding them.  They were on page 24 and now we’re up to 54 (and counting) pages of comments that are ~99% negative.  Perhaps you need a new way to deal with the community response, which isn’t to close the thread?

So

1 - After May, what will happen when I try to add a new controller, particularly phone or tablet to my legacy system?  Will I be able to do this or not?

2 - After May, can I add another new or legacy device (or speaker) to my current setup?  Will this be possible?

3 - After May, if I want to sign up to a subscription service (or have to disable then enable a current one) will this be possible?

-

In case you’re wondering what the other piece of news on the BBC site was, it wasn’t positive (Sonos in bricked speaker 'recycling' row https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-50948868)

 

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51206604

 

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I bought my Connect: Amp in 2017, 2 years later it’s “Legacy”?  I didn’t know I should have been super careful about the manufacture date.  

What happened to the “keep adding to your system each year” way of thinking? 

$455 after a 30% discount is a slap in the face to replace a perfectly functioning amp. 

Now there’s conflicting information as to whether or not “legacy” products will get software updates. 

This sucks.

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Not good closing a thread and opening a new one, just update the orignal!

Please can you explain why you misled people by saying only 10 weeks ago on Twitter that “We have no plans to suddenly make these devices obsolete. We're simply offering our users an eco-friendly way to upgrade their older players.” 

 

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I have a Playbar, Sub, 4 Play:1s, Play:5, Connect: AMP, and a boost.  Over $3000+ worth.  None of them are currently “Legacy” products but how long until that changes?  I cannot in good conscience spend another dime on audio equipment that has an artificial end of life date, and I can no longer recommend Sonos as a brand. 

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You will also be able to separate your legacy products from your modern products, so that the modern products can still receive updates and new features, and legacy products can still be used separately.

 

This is missing the point entirely. We WANT to be able to use our speakers together not separately. Why can’t you just let us use “obsolete” speakers with speakers which still get software updates? 

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Did SONOS LOCK the real thread which was up to 55 pages of negative customer feedback over the course of 1 night?

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You will also be able to separate your legacy products from your modern products, so that the modern products can still receive updates and new features, and legacy products can still be used separately. We’ll have more information on how to do this in May when you can take that action.

 

You missed out a vital point, does this mean the legacy and modern will be interoperable? Or completely seperate? I am fine with my legacy speakers not getting updates, but I want my modern speakers to get updates and new features. I then EXEPCT to be still able to group music between legacy and modern.

This is the main issue on the table!  I have 26 SONOS devices, 16 of which are “legacy”. If you tell me I have to separate them out, then you gave failed in your mission, and why I purchased $10k of equipment from you… to have Whole House Audio.  
 

 

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Seeing as you've closed the other thread I'd just like to reiterate that from a technical perspective I believe that there is ways to support "legacy" products in the ecosystem and prevent them from restricting the updates to "modern" products.

It is extremely poor customer service to tell me that my 4 and a half year old speaker (play 5 gen:1) is going to prevent my entire sonos system from receiving updates.

When I invest £400 in a speaker I don't do so easily as that is a large amount of money. Needless to say the beam I have recently purchased will be my final purchase from sonos if you do me out of my investment.

Closing the previous thread just makes it look like you are trying to hide the true scale of customers displeaseasure. I never expect to spend £400 on anything to last only four years! I have a ten year old Samsung TV which cost me approximately this and I repurposed it not disposed of it because it is still a perfectly good product.

I understand you can't support them forever. But a company who cared about their customers and their investment would come up with a solution to allow the legacy and modern speakers to co exist whilst allowing the new speakers to still receive updates.

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I was just about to post on the original thread, I pressed “Send” and the system reports that the thread is closed?  OK, then I’ll take my comments to a third-party like BBC News.

I think it’s fair to say, that the anger will continue on this new thread anyway,
I don’t think the idea of this thread being ‘answers to technical questions raised’ will cut it.

Good idea, re going to external media, as Sonos are clearly not listening so far.

I see that the story is now on the top of the BBC tech page.
​​​​​​​
Hardly surprising, as by Sonos’s own figures, 37% of their revenue comes from existing owners. Not any more though.

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We announced yesterday that some of our oldest Sonos products will be moving into a legacy mode in May of 2020. Our commitment is to support products with regular software updates for a minimum of five years after we stop selling them, and we have a track record of supporting products far longer. 

We’d like to answer some of the questions we’ve seen come up regularly in one easy thread so that people can find the correct information easily.

Beginning in May, software updates and new features from Sonos will only be delivered to systems with only modern products.

After May, systems that include legacy products will continue to work as before - but they will no longer receive software updates or new features. 

Sonos will work to maintain the existing experience and conduct bug fixes, but our efforts will ultimately be limited by the lack of memory and processing power of these legacy products.

We don’t expect any immediate impact to your experience, but access to services and overall functionality will eventually be disrupted, particularly as partners evolve their own services and features. 

 

Customers with both legacy and modern products have time to decide what option is best for them. You can continue to use your whole system in legacy mode - in this case, it will stop receiving updates and new features. 

You will also be able to separate your legacy products from your modern products, so that the modern products can still receive updates and new features, and legacy products can still be used separately. We’ll have more information on how to do this in May when you can take that action.

Another option available to all customers with legacy products is to take advantage of the Trade Up program, which allows you to upgrade older Sonos products to modern ones with a 30% discount. Trade Up will be open to customers at any time should they decide to upgrade. 

We recognize this is new for Sonos owners, just as it is for Sonos. We are committed to help you by making options available to you to support the best decision for your home.
 

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate with asking.

Ok, my 'legacy' equipment wont stop working on May 1st but when Spotify or whoever update THEIR OS, then byebye sonos, hello landfill. Maybe june or July, who knows? 30% discount is an insult since most retailers are offering 20% discounts so 30% becomes 10%. This is potentially a criminal offense in the UK since all items sold must be 'fit for purpose' under the Sale of Goods Act. Will sonos offer a 30% discount on Bluesound equipment? Or Denon? Why would anyone waste their money on sonos  when the company will pull the rug out from under their ex-customers and has ceased to be a HiFi system manufacturer and become a NASDAQ share trading scam. Who needs customers when the company share price is being manipulated upwards in shady trading on Wall Street? 

SHAME ON YOU, sonos and SHAME ON CEO PATRICK SPENCE IN PARTICULAR for coming up with this blackmail and extortion scam.

 

 

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I am with the crowd that is really upset with this announcement.  I too am an early adopter of Sonos.  This “change” means that thousands of dollars of investment in a great sound system was foolishly spent. 

In addition after spending over $2000 on Play:5s, you are telling me for another $1400 I can replace my Play:5s with lower quality Sonos Moves?!?!   How does that even make sense!   At least your upgrade program should be like for like!  And a discount for more the 30% would be better.

I am soooo mad that I am considering ditching my whole Sonos installations.

Sonos you really need to take better care of your early loyal customers as they are the ones who keep buying more speakers to expand their systems. (like me)

 

Best

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