It's bricked, I can't use it anymore

For how long time can I use this thing, is becoming a more and more relevant question. Ask Arlo Gilbert, who recently bought a home automation hub from Resolve, and found out the Google will turn off the device on May 15th 2016. Gene Hugson wrote about Stirring up a Hornets Nest. and asked some questions about long term commitment from vendors.

At home, I have a film camera from 30's, bought by my grandparents and used at their wedding 1936. It's still possible to buy new film via Amazon to this more than 80 year old camera.

But Arlo can't use his device for more than a few years due to the fact that Nest stopping the service.

My question is why it's like this?

You may say technology innovations make old stuff obsolete, but there have been tremendous number of innovations in cameras since 1935. It's still possible to buy new film and develop them. My record player was bought in the seventies and I can still buy new vinyl records.

But, a year ago, I scrapped a fully functional laser printer because the drivers were not updated to newest version of the operating system, and the old drivers stopped working when updating my laptop.

I would say that the real reason for things stopping working, is the lack of business model. Or to be more precise, the business model was to earn money on selling the hardware and providing a  free software service or software updates after a few years. I could use the printer for a far longer time, than a Resolve home automation hub, and the main reason was that with a printer, the manufacturer also earns money on cartridges.

Compare this to Adobe who moved from selling programs to a monthly fee for Creative Cloud. If they stop deliver their services, the revenue stream will dry up as fast as a rain in Sahara. Therefore, they have a strong commitment to provide services and updates to their products.  

If you buy a product, with a free service for the life-time of the product, the huge question is how long time the seller can afford to offer the free service. Is it one year, three years, the life-time for a Fortune 500 company, your life-time or just around the corner when leaving the store.