Obsolescence doesn't have to mean obsolete

  • 2 February 2020
  • 30 replies
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Speaking as a seasoned software engineer, the lack of technical limitations is not the only pre-requisite for a particular development direction to be taken.  The financial benefit of going in that direction has to outweigh the financial cost.  The financial cost that Sonos need to be aware of is that people will stop buying their kit if they start guaranteeing that it will stop working in a few years when previous behaviour has been that 10-year-old kit is still worth having.  My 2016 Macbook Pro is still firing on all cylinders.  My 2011 Mac mini is still going strong.  Hardware doesn’t wear out anywhere near as fast as it used to; software strategy needs to take this into account.

 

Well, duh!  Sonos could easily fix this entire mess by giving away a free modern replacement to every person who has a legacy device.  Problem solved!  Except for the financial hit.

However, also speaking as seasoned software engineer, no sane company is going to forego future sales for a short term “financial decision”.  Let’s assume all that’s claimed in the main thread; this is an easy fix, Sonos could do it if they want to, but . . . “greed” . . . something, something, is true.  

Well, if Sonos is that greedy, why give the ability to keep legacy systems running, reducing sales of current devices. and cutting off  ALL sales of new devices?  Why put forth a strategy which severely limits Sonos’ income from an obviously long established customer base if they could technically achieve a better result that actually encourages sales and keeps customers happy?  It simply makes no sense, unless there actually is a technical limitation.  Looking further, one finds all legacy device have 32 MB RAM and all modern devices have more.  That’s where I say “Jinkees!  A clue!”

@Komobo ‘The financial cost that Sonos need to be aware of is that people will stop buying their kit if they start guaranteeing that it will stop working in a few years when previous behaviour has been that 10-year-old kit is still worth having’

Sonos are not saying that anything will ‘stop working’, as you well know.  And a guarantee that something won’t happen for at least X years is very different from saying it WILL happen after that time.  You are blatantly misrepresenting the facts.  

@Komobo ‘The financial cost that Sonos need to be aware of is that people will stop buying their kit if they start guaranteeing that it will stop working in a few years when previous behaviour has been that 10-year-old kit is still worth having’

Sonos are not saying that anything will ‘stop working’, as you well know.  And a guarantee that something won’t happen for at least X years is very different from saying it WILL happen after that time.  This is blatant misrepresentation of the facts.  

 

Exactly. 

I think people reading this thread of ‘misinformation' should perhaps read this online media report… at least it provides a more balanced report of what the Sonos announcements are perhaps trying to achieve… the report might not be on the side of Sonos, but at least the article attempts to give a balanced viewpoint...

https://www.androidcentral.com/sonos-ending-support-decade-old-speakers-really-isnt-big-deal

Speaking as a seasoned software engineer, the lack of technical limitations is not the only pre-requisite for a particular development direction to be taken.  The financial benefit of going in that direction has to outweigh the financial cost.  The financial cost that Sonos need to be aware of is that people will stop buying their kit if they start guaranteeing that it will stop working in a few years when previous behaviour has been that 10-year-old kit is still worth having.  My 2016 Macbook Pro is still firing on all cylinders.  My 2011 Mac mini is still going strong.  Hardware doesn’t wear out anywhere near as fast as it used to; software strategy needs to take this into account.

 

As pointed out, there is no guarantee that the unit will stop working in a few years.  The actual guarantee is that Sonos products are supported for at least 5 years.  The current “un-supported” units will actually get a level of support in bug fixes and security updates where possible within the hardware after May.

 

But I really wanted to focus on the first part of the statement highlighted.  Do you think Sonos isn’t aware of the financial costs associated with this decision?  No one can really say for sure, but I have no doubt that Sonos has taken a serious look at the projections in making this decisions.  I think they have a good idea of the volume of sales from customers with legacy products buying new products, and how many may abandon Sonos because of this.  I think they also know what their sales may look like as a whole if they don’t go through with this event.  As customers, I don't think we can assume that other customers see things the same way we do, with the same priorities and purchase criteria. 

 

That’s not to say that customers shouldn’t consider what’s in their own best interest and make decisions that make sense for them, whether they are logical or emotional decisions. 

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