I’ve followed the Sonos planned obsolescence drama with interest. I’ll admit some sympathy for the company: they have a spreadsheet somewhere that lays out the ongoing maintenance costs and, as they regularly receive telemetry from all of their devices, know very well how many devices are affected by the policy. They undoubtedly feel a bit betrayed by their customers: their policy is significantly more generous than other connected device manufacturers, many of whom don’t deliver a single update.
But at the heart of this problem is a design decision: what is the correct interface for a speaker or other piece of audio hardware? The outraged customers have a point: making sound doesn’t get old and if the hardware shows no signs of degradation, why should it stop working?Continue reading “Planned Senescence”