Obsolete through progress

Well, we all know that especially software isn’t created for eternity. Sometimes even not for years. But sometimes dying software also means the end for your not-so-old device…

For me this became truth in 2013 when my trusty Chumby alarm clock became a very simple clock after the company ran out of money – thanks to its open design, the community was able to revive it (a bit).

But sometimes you just end up with a brick – or at least with just 25% of the functionality you had before:

  • In this recent letter from Revolv, they announce the end of their connected home solutions due to the change of ownership (first Nest, then Google)
  • Philips TVs (when sold to Gibson) stopped their SmartTV support for many TV products since 2010
  • Samsung and other TV manufacturers do not support/update the Skype app anymore, rendering a built-in camera to a NSA-only device
  • Some more key-words your devices might have been built for using them:
    last.fm, podcasts, Second Life, MySpace or even Altavista (All things you might have thought they last for 10+ years)
  • … not mentioning web browsers which are useless because of missing support for CSS, JS, HTML4+ etc.

So even before planned obsolescence of your hardware strikes, you might loose functionality by a decaying piece of software.

Do you own a piece of hardware with software-orphans in it, too?

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