Logitech Will Be Intentionally Bricking All Harmony Link Units on March 18th, 2018
Rory Dooley, head of Logitech Harmony, told Gizmodo in a statement that the decision to turn off the devices "does not impact Logitech's commitment to Logitech Harmony customers," adding that those within a one-year warranty period could exchange their devices for free for an upgraded Harmony Hub. Other owners can get a "one-time discount offer" (35 percent, per Bleeping Computer) on the $100 replacement.
Dooley told Gizmodo they had discontinued support for the devices because of the expiration of a security license, and that the product only had a "small user base."
While Dooley said the product was last sold by Logitech in 2015, Bleeping Computer reported the company "held fire sales for Harmony Link devices in the past months, offering the universal hubs at lowered prices and with a warranty of only three months." It also noted that users on Logitech's forums claimed the terms "class action lawsuit" were being censored.
Discontinuing support for an aging product is pretty par for the course and more or less inevitable, given it's impossible to expect companies to commit resources to maintaining old technology forever. Deliberately bricking those products while encouraging them to migrate to a newer model is, on the other hand, a considerably rarer thing to do-though consumers should be wary that with the rise of networked home electronics, companies can choose to turn off their tech at the flick of a button.
As Ars Technica noted, Harmony Link owners on web forums don't seem to have noticed any significant problems with their devices and likely expected to continue using them until they stopped functioning. Them's the breaks, apparently.
[ BleepingComputer ]