Sonos will provide legacy devices with software updates for 'as long as possible'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2020
Sonos CEO Patrick Spence in an apology to customers on Thursday said it was a mistake to completely cut off support for "legacy" devices, adding that older devices will receive software updates "for as long as possible."

Sonos Play:5
The first-generation Play:5 is considered a "legacy product" that no longer rates new features.


On Wednesday, Sonos announced it would drop support of so-called "legacy products" in May. The strategy precluded devices from receiving regular software updates, including those with bug fixes.

As can be expected, the announcement ruffled the feathers of stalwart Sonos fans, many of whom took to social media to decry the company's decision.

In what appears to be a response to the ensuing public outcry, Spence backpedaled in an email to customers today, reports CNBC.

"We did not get this right from the start," he said.

Modifying its stance on the matter, Sonos has promised to push out software updates to squash bugs and patch security holes for old products. Likely due to hardware constraints, however, the devices will not benefit from new software features.

"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," the letter reads. "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."

Sonos is also working on a solution to split user devices into two groups, "modern" and "legacy," so that both can coexist in the home. Modern products will work together and receive the latest software features, while older products are separated into their own group but remain "in their current state." The company expects to release more information on the matter in the coming weeks.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,249member
    Good response.
    gregoriusm
  • Reply 2 of 11
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 435member
    So basically the products will continue to work, as we knew they already would, except now you may or may not get bug fixes and security hole patches. I would not expect anything from them nor should any owner. With the exception of 1 or 2 of the products they are dropping support for most are ancient by consumer electronics standards. At some point they will stop working with the various streaming services who can and do change protocols. Any auxiliary inputs should work until the units break. 

    I do like that when you trade an item they brick it so it cannot be resold and thus potential be a unit that have to keep supporting.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    I think half the problem was in their wording. It basically came off as “No updates for any of your devices until you upgrade/throw out your old speakers, and here is a discount to re-buy more of our equivalent products.”

    They should have looked to see how other brands manage older devices, Apple’s approach with the “vintage” labelling is a good example, that and they shouldn’t have been selling, (read: milking) a legacy device up until 2015.
    bonobob
  • Reply 4 of 11
    "As long as possible"

    That will be next month then...

    Cynical? You betcha.

    watto_cobrazroger73
  • Reply 5 of 11
    Welcome to the disposable capitalist world of the 21st century, where everything except your Mac is a commodity. Whilst the rest of the world burns, Corporate America, with the exception of Apple, believes that shipping crap products in volume is the solution. My local supermarket was selling an HP inkjet yesterday for 75% off retail, about $12, retail was only $60, this is not good for the planet.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,304member
    cubefan said:
    Welcome to the disposable capitalist world of the 21st century, where everything except your Mac is a commodity. Whilst the rest of the world burns, Corporate America, with the exception of Apple, believes that shipping crap products in volume is the solution. My local supermarket was selling an HP inkjet yesterday for 75% off retail, about $12, retail was only $60, this is not good for the planet.
    How does this apply to Sonos ? Without updates these devices aren’t going to be thrown into the landfill and they don’t ship crap products in volume. I know what you are getting at I just don’t think it applies here with these products. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    The problem is having speakers become obsolete. I have ~30 year old speakers that still sound great. They're "dumb" but they plug into a receiver.... my receiver is also ~30 years old. Early dolby digital and DTS 5.2 surround (yes, 5.2. The 90s were weird). I don't expect my old receiver to magically get Dolby Atmos. I don't expect my old speakers to stop looking early-90s-fugly.

    I do expect to be able to plug my iphone into the receiver's aux input, or connect an airport express digital out to the receiver's digital-in, and have it play sound and work with airplay, etc. Good speakers and receivers last a very long time by tech standards. The 1st flaw with Sonos is that their products don't plan for their eventual software obsolescence: there's no audio input plug on most of them, for example. A simple aux-input (heaven forbid sonos add banana plugs) would give these things an indefinite lifespan.

    Then there's the 2nd flaw with Sonos: their preference for marketing and sales over truth or even B- engineering: they say "Play:1 is too old for airplay2" and they offer a garbage work-around, while meanwhile their devices are uPNP and the solution requires nothing more than an existing computer or raspberryPI acting as a simple bridge. I have two play:1s and I use philippe44's free "airconnect" software (google it, it's on github and it's awesome) and PRESTO! the Play:1s work with airplay2. SONOS SHOULD BE SELLING A uPNP BRIDGE! ...but no, they'd rather keep it proprietary, tell you stuff's too old (factually, objectively, demonstrably, untrue), brick your speakers, and fill the landfills (seriously, do a deep-dive on sonos "recycling" if you disagree with where these things end up. They end up in the trash.).
    anantksundaram
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Typical CEO arrogance...

    I'm glad there are some significant exceptions.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    jimh2 said:
    ..they are dropping support for most are ancient by consumer electronics standards. 
    Speakers are not traditional "consumer electronics." They last for decades.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    gordygordy Posts: 1,004member
    jimh2 said:
    ..they are dropping support for most are ancient by consumer electronics standards. 
    Speakers are not traditional "consumer electronics." They last for decades.
    Unfortunately, Sonos products are not just speakers.  I really wish they could be, but every function requires some configuration via an app.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    gordy said:
    jimh2 said:
    ..they are dropping support for most are ancient by consumer electronics standards. 
    Speakers are not traditional "consumer electronics." They last for decades.
    Unfortunately, Sonos products are not just speakers.  I really wish they could be, but every function requires some configuration via an app.
    That is the whole point of the arguments being made here!?
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