A tech engineer said Sonos’ move may signal fewer promises of free lifetime software support from device makers as bulk of the labor and financial capital are poured into software rather than into hardware.
A technology expert-engineer said Sonos’ recent move to axe support for its legacy speakers may be the start of fewer lifetime-support promises from device manufacturers, but said an alternative, although difficult, may be offered to prevent antagonism from customers.
In her column for Bloomberg Opinion, Global Financial Access Blockchain Engineer Elaine Ou offered Sonos, and other device makers, the viability of running devices on open-source software as a long-term strategy.
Also a former lecturer in the electrical and information engineering department at the University of Sydney, she said:
The Start of Less Lifetime Software Support
In the future, device manufacturers may be less generous about promising a lifetime of free software support, according to Ou.
For tech experts, backing down from a commitment to provided customers free software may not come as a surprise as much of today’s work toward technological improvements is done in software.
Cars, one example Ou cited, hasn’t seen drastic changes in its internal combustion engine since fuel injectors were introduced in the 1980s. Instead, indicators of quality improvements in recent decades had been focused on the performance of sensors and software to interpret sensor data. And this may be evidential with autonomous vehicles where updates may be crucial to continue ensuring customers’ safety.
A question she raised was:
From a consumer’s perspective, however, zero software updates may be difficult to deal with especially when a company promises otherwise. As such, authorizing open-source software may be considered.