Wow. This week’s post also could have had last week’s title. You really wonder in anybody is paying attention at companies these days.
The first brilliant move I want to warn you about is from Logitech, normally not a company to pull bone-headed moves. But in this case, they have made what I consider to be a whopper. It concerns the Harmony Link, which I have thought about getting at one point. The Harmony Link is a small device that lets you use an iOS or Android device as a master remote control, the way Logitech’s Harmony remotes do. The harmony line is know for its ease of programming – many devices can be programmed simply by downloading the correct profile from the web.
So what’s the matter here? Apparently, the program on you handheld device needs to check in with Logitech’s servers every time you bring it up. That’s right – you need a live Internet connect to use your remote control. Really? So of course, Logitech’s servers had a failure on Super Bowl Sunday. Hope those folks have their original remotes handy. Why would you design software – that requires special hardware only your company provides – to check in? It’s not like the software has any value without the Harmony Link! This just seem brain-dead to me. What happens if this doesn’t sell all that well? Does Logitech pull the plug on their servers and leave everyone in out in the cold? I am no longer interested in this $100 device that can be bricked because Logitech doesn’t trust its users.
But wait, there’s more! Ubisoft, purveyor of many computer games, has announced that starting yesterday, the 7th, they are moving data servers. So? So apparently, while they move – and no length of time has been given – many of their older, DRM-encumbered games – which have to check in every time you play (sound familiar?) – those games will be unplayable. That right, bricked like a Harmony Link. Of course, the pirates, with their cracked copies, won’t be affected. Just the honest people, who played by the rules and bought a legitimate copy. Way to reward customer loyalty, Ubisoft! So it was just too hard to come up with a plan to keep some sort of authorization going, eh? Maybe if you didn’t treat your customers like crooks in the first place…?