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Sonos CEO: 'Legacy' devices will still work after May

They won't get new features, but there's no forced brick coming.
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picture alliance via Getty Images

A few days after Sonos announced it would stop updating some of its oldest products with new features going forward, CEO Patrick Spence has written a note to customers seeking to assuage their fears over what'll happen in May. As we reported originally, Spence says that all legacy Sonos products will continue working past May, just as they do now. There's no forced brick coming. Spence also committed to supporting those products with bug fixes and security updates, whenever possible. Of course, there's still no way to know exactly how long these products will continue to work -- at a certain point, it's easy to imagine a scenario in which Sonos updates its controller apps in such a way that removes support, but it doesn't sound like that'll happen any time soon.

Perhaps the more controversial part of the announcement earlier this week is the fact that systems running both "legacy" and more current products would be stuck without new features, even if some of the newer devices would have otherwise received an update. Essentially, having a legacy component in your Sonos system meant that all those devices would be stuck with that legacy experience. However, Sonos said that they were looking into a way to "split" a system so that modern products would keep getting updates while legacy ones would continue to work as they currently do. Spence reconfirmed those plans today, as well, and said the company was finalizing the details and would share more "in the coming weeks."

To be clear, Sonos isn't changing course on its plan here. Instead, Spence is trying to communicate a bit better what exactly is happening come May. There's no info here that Sonos didn't already release, but the public response to Sonos' plan was such that it seemed necessary to address it. While we certainly can understand how people who spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on older Sonos gear over the years are disappointed by this week's development, it's good news that the products will still work as they do now and that there will be a way to keep newer products up-to-date as well.

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