This week we posted our latest software release on the Lifesize website, version 4.1, build. Like most software releases it adds some features, fixes some bugs, improves stability and in general makes things work better. That’s the intent. And with maintenance releases it’s almost always true. Major releases include many more new features and can sometimes introduce new behavior that wasn’t … let’s say … “intended”. Version 4.1 is a maintenance release.
The big new feature was supporting our new codec, Express 200. But we slid a few new features in there as well. Most visible will be the return of some screen layouts that we innocently removed in version 4.0. People really like those layout choices! Check out the release note for all the gory details. You do read the release notes, don’t you?
Why don’t people upgrade software?
I upgrade software regularly, but even I will choose to skip the upgrade notifications I get weekly on my computer. Just checked on my notebook and what do you know … 13 different updates available. A little bit nervous about that OS upgrade after reading about some guy whose address book got wiped out. Probably an isolated incident.
But the rewards of upgrading are enormous. Often, it takes the same exact piece of hardware and allows you to do things that have never been done before. It’s like getting a totally new machine. All for the price of a software upgrade.
So imagine my surprise when I visited a customer a few weeks ago. They were going on and on about how much they use their Lifesize Room codec and simply love it. But I noticed the camera operating in a mode that I hadn’t seen in quite awhile and looked at the version of software they were running. Version 2.5.2. Are you kidding me? We released that over 2 years ago. Talked to our guy heading up support and the same week he ran into a system that was running version 1.0.4. This was the original software released over 3 and a half years ago. We’ve come a long way since then.
Why don’t people upgrade software? If you’re a reseller, why don’t you ensure that your customers are running recent software? How can we make it easier for you?
A quick (and brief) history recap of Lifesize codec software.
Introduced High Definition to the videoconferencing market
2.0/2.1: Jun/Sept 2006
Improved quality, interoperability and protocol support
2.5/2.6: Jan/Apr 2007
Increased usability, higher audio quality
3.0: Sept 2007
Smashed the HD price/performance barrier with $5K Express, added VoIP interop support, plus new features enabled across the entire product line (Virtual Multiway)!
3.5: Mar 2008
New smaller, simpler HD Focus camera, improved management, and higher performance 6-way MCU on Room
4.0/4.1:Oct 2008/Apr 2009
High performance Full HD (1080p30) Room 200, improved legacy interop (H.261, transcoding), security improvements and a new dual display Express 200
What version are you running? Easy to find out. From the home screen hit the blue button and there it is at the top of the screen. Or you can call us on video and we can easily tell.
One more thing. Upgraded to the new release, version 4.1. You’ll like it.