End of Software Support - Clarifications

End of Software Support - Clarifications

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Userlevel 2

I too have spent a lot of money on systems for three homes along with systems for my children.   I certainly hope the legal people at Sonos where consulted when this decision was made.  There are alot of hungry lawyers out there who would love a class action suit like this.  “Planned Obsolescence” of a product that costs this much is not acceptable-neither is insulting owners with a cheesy 30% trade up offer.  Well it was a good product while it lasted.  Too bad but this opens the doors for the other competitors.  I bet Bose is licking their chops!!

 

Good Luck   

Userlevel 5
Badge +2

Who at Sonos made the decision to announce this without answers to the inevitable flood of questions that would ensue? The price to upgrade a working device is what got me mad.  Now I realize it is decidedly un-”green”.  Shame on Sonos.  The wrong people are now at the helm and the ship is taking on water.  

Userlevel 6
Badge +1

After 24 hours and 55 pages of comments (before it was closed) none of which are complimentary, here is my 2p worth.

As a past product marketing manager, here are a few key points to take into consideration when announcing a products end of support.

1. Give lots of notice and take into account how recently customers have purchased the product.

> 4 months is no notice at all really, I would expect 12 months to be reasonable, or 6 as an absolute minimum. I bought my first components in Jan 2015 and now my Connect Amp and Play 5 are declared end of support after this relatively short time.

2. Offer a painless route to upgrade the system.

> Offering 30% discount is far from painless, it is a significant additional investment just to retain current functionality. The idea also of scrapping the old hardware to recycling or worse landfill is outrageous. At least leave the units to be used for as long as they can, as by your own admission, that may not be long.

Consider a swap out at cost plus support expenses to make the exchange palatable. The current discount must still bring a good profit unless your margins are poor.

3. Be VERY clear about why you are doing this, the future benefits and the implications of retaining the current hardware.

I expect cost is the real driver here, memory and processing power is just a limitation as branching code and distributing two versions is  not rocket science, but at least he honest. I understand that sonos cannot predict what may happen with future changes to streaming services, but the total lack of clarity and certainty beggars belief. How long till the rest of my system is obsoleted as I now know I will be lucky to get 4 months notice. What great new ground breaking features are coming in May that is forcing this end of support for older speakers? The dual system possibly seems to something that may or may not work, but little information is being offered about it, we are promised more info in May. Will there still be an upgrade offer when the system breaks eventually, or is this just a short term offer? 

 

So in all you have made a real error of judgement here and have an uphill climb to resolve it, if that is even possible now. The sonos name is now badly tarnished and only a retraction and complete rethink of this proposal has any chance to recover the mess created. I really do hope some people from sonos are taking action based on this thread. Having closed the old tgread, posted a few minor clarifications and started a new one, I fear sonos simply aren't listening and underestimate the impact this will ultimately have on the company. 

Sonos is no longer a hifi equipment manufacturer but a NASDAQ share value trading scam which makes hifi as a hobby. Their profits will come from share buybacks and their customers and products can go to hell. 

Userlevel 7
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Anyone who is unhappy with this news has the option to email the CEO at patrick.spence@sonos.com , I have already done so

 

Userlevel 6
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For Sale: Complete Sonos Syestem, Works great! ….. for now.

Ill give you four quid.

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.

LOL no, that would have in big bold capital letters if they were gonna let you do that. You will be able to have 2 separate Sonos setups that won’t group together

I agree; that WOULD have been in bold, so I don't see it happening. In fact, I would prefer to forego all upgrades, and let my mixed system continue to remain interoperable; that is more valuable than what almost always have been fatuous updates for my use case since 2011.

Userlevel 3

They just bought a Paris Based AI startup and want to run voice recognition and processing locally on the device and hence this is why the old devices don’t have the capabilities.  
 

I don’t need this! 

Userlevel 6
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Anyone who is unhappy with this news has the option to email the CEO at patrick.spence@sonos.com , I have already done so

 

Me too. Got a reply too. It was corporate bs doubletalk.

Shame on you Patrick. 

sonos is now a NASDAQ share-trading corporation which makes hifi as a hobby. 

Userlevel 4
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Just received my update message this AM but I am aware of this issue from all the bad press. 

 

  • I couldn't in good conscious recommend your products to anyone anymore. I don't want your poor hardware/software decisions reflecting on me.
  • You have brought many new S/W features that I don't use but I understand your need to innovate and compete, but your primary value proposition is that its a “system” and that it's easy. Please try to re-remember that as you have your hands firmly around the neck of your golden goose.
  • Using the excuse that “technology changes rapidly” to brick your own products shows a lack of foresight that, by this admission, will inevitably continue into the future.
  • The solution is simple and needs one paragraph...”Everything will work just as it does today, and newer products and features will offer richer experiences and functionality beyond our legacy products.. Please be assured you will always enjoy the values that made your initial decision to buy Sonos a good one, for a lifetime of great listening.”

Now go prove you’re a great software company and do just that.

Userlevel 2

Given the previous thread was closed shortly after I posted, I will repost in this one:

 

Having a nice installation using 6 Sonos Connect that are linked to power amplifiers throughout my house, I was a bit disgruntled already in the past.

 

The first was the difficulty in switching of the wireless connection of the boxes that I did not need as I prefer hard wire. Given that the Connect has RJ45 ports and can thus be physically wired, it would make sense to be able to switch off the wireless connections so as to basically cut power consumption by half, as well as reduce the heat. It took a long time discussing with Sonos support to finally be informed unofficially how I could actually send a machine code to the box for this. Not easy, but finally doable. There should have been a simple option in the configuration interface.

 

Then, having purchased a couple of small tablets to use as remotes, these became redundant after the Sonos app would only work on the most recent Android versions. Annoying yes, but I can to some extent understand this.

 

However this latest event is totally unacceptable. It has pushed me to review what else is available in the market as I certainly do not want to ever use and Sonos equipment again. Having equipment that works fine being made redundant in such a way is just wrong. Granted, we are told that the units will continue to work, but there will be no more updates. I am confident that there will be some update probably in June of the app which will ensure that music streaming services will only work with the new update.

 

So, I have been looking for some alternatives in the market. For my personal installation probably the most interesting will be to get 6 Yamaha WXAD-10 and switch to their MusicCast system. This would cover my needs, provide a higher quality DAC, and the Yamaha boxes cost significantly less (here in Switzerland it would be $ 170 instead of a new Sonos Port at $ 350 after the 30% discount). There are yet other alternatives I could go for such as Teufel Raumfeld which also would be cheaper.

 

Good bye Sonos.

Userlevel 3

This is a textbook screw up on how to manage communications with your customers. 

First, announce something you know will be unpopular, but let's be vague and offer 30%, because 30% sounds like a lot. 

Second, post "clarifications" that clarify nothing - and just offer some more confusion. 

Third, close threads where customers were angered and say "oh, comment in this other thread if you still have questions"…

The fourth one will be to start banning users in this forum. It will happen. 

The fifth one will be to blame your customers for "not understanding", and "sorry for the miscommunication" - but you will not fix anything.

 

The other one is saying "we have no plans to stop supporting other products" - when let's be honest, we know you will, and soon. Can't wait until my Play 1s stop working because they don't have enough memory to do the one single function they were bought for. 

Userlevel 2

I just want let you to know that in the german speaking part of the Community there is the same situation as here; just the frequency of replies is a little lower. 

The original thread with the Announcement was closed half an hour ago and the clone of this one was opened instead (exactly with the same content). 

So there the outrage is just the same as here and the users can’t believe what they read. I still hope that together we are strong and the management of SONOS can’t hide from this yelp and is forced to revise their decision! Keep going!  

Userlevel 3

This is a poorly thought out solution.  They could have released a $25 "bridge" type device that connects to legacy equipment via ethernet and/or wifi.  Kinda like how the Sonos Connect connects to 50 year old receivers.  You'd think if Sonos can develop a device that can connect your 1967 McIntosh amp to the sonos network, they could also develop something that could connect your 2015 Sonos speaker.  They could then mark it up to $50 and make a modest profit on each unit sold.  I've seen a few other posts by people suggesting a solution similar to this.

I've got 11 sonos products and only 1 is legacy, but I now know it's just a matter of time before they are all legacy.  I'm not biting on the ridiculous 30% coupon in exchange for bricking a perfectly good device 

Userlevel 2

This brand is on its way out. I’ve been in since 2007, and the USP has always been that it just works. No stress, no fuss, it just works as you want it to. Very rare in tech goods, and it was a breath of fresh air.

Except now we know, it only works for a limited amount of time. Then it stops. So it’s just like all other disposable tech after all.

What’s worse though, is that Sonos used to be focused on keeping customers happy. Now it focuses on keeping shareholders happy. This decision isn’t about not being able to update the ‘legacy’ units, it was a cold, hard decision made in the boardroom. Let them buy more, they said. They assume we will, no matter what they do.

But no, I will not buy more, because for starters, I don’t know how long those shiny new units will last before becoming ‘legacy’. 5 years? Not long enough. My main (non-sonos) speakers are 13 years old. My amp is 13 years old. And I am not expecting either of them to stop working any time soon. That’s why I was happy to pay the price I did.

But mainly I will not buy more because you’ve acted like I don’t matter. You’ve lost my trust. And, unlike in 2007, I have other options.

 

 

 

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

 

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

 

 

This is, as you well know, self-contradictory. The Sonos platform has ALWAYS since day one been sold as an integrated ecosystem that plays music from remote sources. With the exception of the 3.5mm input on some devices, there is literally no way to play music without a network service of some kind. The nature of network services, especially, but not solely, streaming services is that the interfaces change over time and clients that wish to integrate have to be modified in-step.

Refusing to provide maintenance updates to a product that relies on integrated services for its core function is 100% killing it dead. We just don’t know the exact time of death yet.

 

 

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.

This is, as you well know, disingenuous. It would be ENTIRELY possible to split the codebase such that the older devices keep their original feature set while the newer devices move on. The streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music are going to change and necessitate updates to the Sonos devices, yes, but until such time as Apple switches to projecting holograms of the musicians in to your home they’re not going to change to an extent that the older devices can’t handle.

Implicit in what you’re saying here is that you currently DON’T do this, and so my Play 5 is currently carrying the weight of all the features you’ve put in your codebase that it can’t use. Here’s an idea - strip all that bollocks out and use the extra resource to maintain support for the Play 5’s feature set.

 

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. 

 

Some of your partners do enhance their software over time, that’s true. As a secondary tip, perhaps Sonos could try this rather than just killing bits of it off *cough* desktop Sonos controller software *cough*. I’m not sure I could tell you anything that’s changed in the Sonos app the whole time I’ve had it.

 

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.

 

Explain to us one good technical reason why a play 5 that has been able to handle a synchronised audio stream for the last 5 years is suddenly going to stop being able to do so. Not got one? Good. Now explain to us why one of the more modern products won’t be able to send a play 5 one of these audio streams as it does today.

 

 

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. 

At this point you deserve kudos for simply having the gall to keep presenting this extortion as if it’s some sort of perk to the current customer base. Well done, you have a bright future in PR.

Userlevel 7
Badge +26

 

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.  

@David_366 and @morgan4x4, these legacy devices are stretched to the limits of their hardware already. Where possible, we will work to maintain the existing experience and conduct bug fixes on the legacy devices where the computing hardware will allow.  

 

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

@Nikisixx21, we wanted to make sure everyone was able to read the clarifications above, and then continue the conversation in this thread. The comments in the old thread aren’t getting deleted or removed in any way. Also, these threads can start becoming very unwieldy as they get upwards of 50 pages.

 

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?

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?

 

 

@User933635, I have a few answers in that thread which address these questions, but here goes:

  1. You will be able get the app that works with a legacy system to use on new mobile devices, or if you accidentally delete it.
  2. You will be able to add products to your legacy systems. We'll have more to share on the experience come May. 
  3. Yes. You’ll be able to put in your account details for an existing service. Over time, if a services protocols change it may stop working on legacy systems.
Userlevel 6
Badge +1

I too have spent a lot of money on systems for three homes along with systems for my children.   I certainly hope the legal people at Sonos where consulted when this decision was made.  There are alot of hungry lawyers out there who would love a class action suit like this.  “Planned Obsolescence” of a product that costs this much is not acceptable-neither is insulting owners with a cheesy 30% trade up offer.  Well it was a good product while it lasted.  Too bad but this opens the doors for the other competitors.  I bet Bose is licking their chops!!

 

Good Luck   

I hadnt heard of Bluesound til it cropped up in the thread about sonos bricking our perfectly functional equipment.

Bluesound. Multi room hifi that isnt sonos.

Userlevel 5
Badge +2

Given that the other thread was closed, I thought I would reiterate my comment and request for the code base when you stop supporting “legacy” components.

The more I think about this the more disappointed I am becoming. 

There are many approaches that could have been taken and they seem to have taken one that is easiest on them (simply not worry about “legacy” devices any longer and let the chips fall were they may) instead of continuing to support “legacy” devices with the understanding that their functionality will not be expanded beyond their current capabilities due to hardware limitations. 

If the limitation is indeed processor and memory based then you could provide functionality in the app – or, perish the thought, the desktop application –  that allows users to load on only the features they use and want. I personally use a local library, Tunein, and Spotify. I do not need every music service loaded to every component. I would understand that such functionality may need to be at the network level so that all speakers have consistent functionality.

I do not believe that any of the people writing here would have objected to this. I do not need airplay or Chromecast in my existing speakers and I would understand having to purchase new equipment to make use of this new technology. What I do not understand is Sonos saying that they will simply stop updating those products and let them die off. 

If the current position is maintained then I ask that you provide access to the code base for the products that you will no longer support as I feel confident that there would be a community of developers that would gladly take up keeping this equipment functional for years to come.

Userlevel 1

Now that we know Sonos equipment will be end of life every 3 to 5 years, what competing brands would people recommend as a replacement for Sonos?

Userlevel 1
Badge

Didn’t like so many upset users so you closed the previous thread??? Not cool.

As most of us knew, SONOS was eager for trade-ups during the holiday period. Evidently few took SONOS up on the offer, given no inherent need or desire for upgraded units… so what does SONOS do? FORCE the trade-up!!! Too many units lying around and not enough sales? Shame.

Lots of other products around now.

Bye SONOS

(A 2005-6 adopter with 12 zones.)

Userlevel 1

II am a GOLD DEALER IN NJ and can’t get any straight answers!!!!

 

Other than you telling System owners their products are obsolete what is the “tag” to tell us, is it the serial # or what?  I have sold 100’s of Sonos produtcts and I have clients with Connect Amps that are 3 years old and are not showing the “legacy” tag. I also have Connects that are less then a year old showing “Legacy” 

WE NEED MORE DETAILS. 

Userlevel 3

Great BBC news picked this up. Have reached out to Consumer Reports as well to have them update their wireless speaker review. Would be good if we can get some US news to report on this too! 

Userlevel 3

At this point, I have a house full of Play 1's, Play 3's as rears to a Playbase, a Connect/ZP90 that takes care of my living room and outdoor speakers and a Gen 2 play 5 that all look like they'll be on the chopping block next. The only stuff I think is okay for a bit are the Ones & the Beam I own. 

I won't invest any new money into the system. Not at this ridiculous 30% off an upgrade. The percentage should be 30% of the retail cost of the unit if you're upgrading something. I would consider that to future proof, but 30% off of retail is insulting. 

Sonos doesn't realize they just killed the brand yesterday. 2 days ago I would be telling everyone I know to get this product. Today? I'm warning them to steer clear of it and looking to sell an entire house worth of speakers. I'd rather recoup what I can while I can than invest in a company that thinks 30% off is some kind of incentive. 

And for the record, I bought my ZP90's in 2017 and they were manufactured during the Legacy period. I didn't realize I should be looking at manufacture dates on these products as I bought them. I got 2 years out of them. Sonos should be ashamed of themselves. 

Userlevel 6
Badge +1

Just received my update message this AM but I am aware of this issue from all the bad press. 

 

  • I couldn't in good conscious recommend your products to anyone anymore. I don't want your poor hardware/software decisions reflecting on me.
  • You have brought many new S/W features that I don't use but I understand your need to innovate and compete, but your primary value proposition is that its a “system” and that it's easy. Please try to re-remember that as you have your hands firmly around the neck of your golden goose.
  • Using the excuse that “technology changes rapidly” to brick your own products shows a lack of foresight that, by this admission, will inevitably continue into the future.
  • The solution is simple and needs one paragraph...”Everything will work just as it does today, and newer products and features will offer richer experiences and functionality beyond our legacy products.. Please be assured you will always enjoy the values that made your initial decision to buy Sonos a good one, for a lifetime of great listening.”

Now go prove you’re a great software company and do just that.

Sadly sonos is now more about dodgy shareprice manipulation than HiFi since they went all NASDAQ. Share buybacks will make the CEO more money than god and they wont need customers anymore. Shame on you, Patrick Spence,  sonos CEO.

Userlevel 2

What on earth are you playing at? It’s 2020 and the world is creaking through overconsumption and you are trying to force your customers to upgrade perfectly good kit. Shame on you. #SavetheWorld

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