elusivem (elusivem) wrote,

Vaporware II - Fall of the Audio Control Now Playing Nowhere Near You!

I got caught-up in a misleading ad. So what does the ad below imply about the availability the Valet home control software? This is the control system for our older, but still good whole house audio system. Compare the availability information on the two different versions - read the bottom.


Realizing that while the pro version is not available, the standard version is available although just in Beta so I ordered it. I'm willing to deal with the quirks of Beta software. I requested licensing for our system just to discover there is no software yet. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem, however, I already purchased and installed the required gateway hardware from the same manufacture. The website should clearly state it is not available just like it does for Valet PRO so as not to mislead. Sometimes, it is not what you say but the context in which you say it. The pro version is clearly not available implying the standard version is available. They just want you to conculde it is becuase the pro version is not. In reality only making a request is available.

I have worked in the software development industry since the late 70's.  I once ordered a software tool in 1980 that was to change everything for my life as a programmer. It was somewhat expensive, but I paid the money. The tool arrived in a great looking box typical of software packages of the day. It had pretty pictures displaying all the features with fancy graphics of how it saves time and money. I opened the box and it was empty except for a card thanking me for my purchase. It went on to say they will send the software at such time when they finish writing it.  I never received the software nor a refund. It was my first experience in vaporware.

It is not at all clear to me why companies feel that can "get on the market band wagon" by claiming they are about to release something when the aren't ready. They don't have the product. There is nothing to sell. What does it say about a company that lacks the will to be honest? Slipping schedules and software not being ready is common and understandable. But selling and shipping hardware that has to be installed by running power and network cables without telling customers the software is not available? As Gary put it, this is like buying a TV, getting it home and only then to find out there is nobody broadcasting. This control product only works on their systems. They are a special player in the whole home audio industry. Their customers are not going anywhere. I am not going anywhere. They shouldn't have done this. It is one thing to say coming soon. It is another to say, hey try it out only to receive a message that oops - sorry we really don't have the product yet, but please wait because it is gong to be great.

I have been fairly cautions about these situations over the last 35 years. I hope this does not become my second experience with vaporware.
Tags: audio, home automation, vaporware

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