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  1. #1
    Founder, Slim Devices seanadams's Avatar
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    Logitech to acquire Slim Devices!

    I am pleased to announce that Logitech is acquiring Slim Devices, and I am glad to have the opportunity to share the news here in our forum before the official press release goes out.

    We have been building a relationship with Logitech for quite some time. As we got to know their executive team, it became clear that there was a compelling opportunity for us to work together to bring Slim Devices’ products to the mainstream market. As you may know, Logitech recently launched the Wireless DJ music system, and also produces Harmony remote controls, which many of our customers already use with their Squeezeboxes.

    This is an opportunity for us to introduce Squeezebox and Transporter more quickly to a lot more people. Slim Devices will benefit from Logitech’s brand, their retail channel, their expertise in developing quality hardware, and their existing portfolio of complementary products such as speakers and remotes. Logitech believes this will be a fast growing segment of their business, and we are looking forward to making that happen.

    One of the most exciting things about this opportunity is Logitech’s enthusiasm for our open development model, and the way we collaborate as a community to improve our products. We plan to expand this model as we continue to develop great new software and hardware. SlimServer will continue to be available free of charge under the GPL, and we will participate in these forums in much the same way.

    All of our employees have accepted new employment offers, and we will remain in our Mountain View location. Dean, Patrick and I expect to stay for the foreseeable future.

    I’ll be here on the forums if you have any questions, and as always, welcome your feedback and ideas.

    Best regards,

    Sean
    Last edited by Dan Sully; 2006-10-19 at 11:36. Reason: Fix spelling typo.

  2. #2
    Senior Member CardinalFang's Avatar
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    Well I can't blame you from a business perspective, I'd do the same. I guess most people here, including me, would be concerned that larger company attitudes and needs to satisfy shareholders will result in cost-cutting to equipment we've grown to know and love.

    This applies most directly I would say to the Transporter, where a great deal of the appeal lies in the concept of high-engineering ideals and selective component control. Will it now start to be built in the Far East and standards drop?

    I suppose the burning question for me is "how independant will the Slim design process be?" Logitech are a fine company, I just wouldn't buy high end audio from them.

  3. #3
    Ne'er-do-well, Vagabond bklaas's Avatar
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    Congrats, Slimdevices employees. I can only hope this acquisition made your day, year, lifetime.

    Personally, my heart sinks on this news. I'll adopt a wait-and-see on the "Logitech embraces open-source model". Corporations have a great way of killing statements like that.

    deep, heavy, sigh,
    #!/ben
    Former Logitech Developer: Squeezeplay/SqueezeOS/SqueezeboxController/SqueezeCenter
    Community Developer: Nokia770Skin (r.i.p.)

    http://www.last.fm/user/bklaas/
    KHAAAN!...BUNNIES!

  4. #4
    SVP Entertainment & Communications Business Unit junien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardinalFang View Post
    Well I can't blame you from a business perspective, I'd do the same. I guess most people here, including me, would be concerned that larger company attitudes and needs to satisfy shareholders will result in cost-cutting to equipment we've grown to know and love.

    This applies most directly I would say to the Transporter, where a great deal of the appeal lies in the concept of high-engineering ideals and selective component control. Will it now start to be built in the Far East and standards drop?

    I suppose the burning question for me is "how independant will the Slim design process be?" Logitech are a fine company, I just wouldn't buy high end audio from them.

    Let me introduce myself. My name is Junien Labrousse, Logitech SVP of the Entertainment and Communication Business Unit.
    The first thing I'll say is that we are very excited about the opportunity that Slim Devices will bring to Logitech. This is
    a great extension of our current business. Let me assure you that one of the main reasons for this acquisition is the development capabilities of the Slim Devices team. The technical level of this group is a key asset that we fully intend to leverage. The Slim Devices entity will function independently, keeping the spirit of advance audio technology and strong product innovation.

    Logitech will bring its global distribution and marketing capabilities, providing a jump start to a large visibility and adoption of Slim Devices products.

    Junien

  5. #5
    Founder, Slim Devices seanadams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardinalFang View Post
    This applies most directly I would say to the Transporter, where a great deal of the appeal lies in the concept of high-engineering ideals and selective component control. Will it now start to be built in the Far East and standards drop?
    We actually do much of our higher complexity manufacturing in Asia already, while final assembly, quality control, and kitting take place in Mountain View. That won't change immediately, but as we grow we will take advantage of Logitech's manufacturing capabilities.

    Transporter is selling well, and while it certainly carries a higher price point than other Logitech products, it fits quite well with their recent trend towards higher-end AV products - for example, the Harmony 1000.

  6. #6
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    Hi Junien -
    Perhaps you could also give the Logitech take on the open source approach? Most folks around these parts (myself included) believe that it's a major strength of the Slim Devices portfolio, and at this time could be concerned about the direction Logitech may take.

    Thanks
    Chippy

  7. #7
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    Re: Logitech to acquire Slim Devices!

    Do you expect that your products will be marketed under the SlimDevices
    brand or the Logitech brand?


  8. #8
    Senior Member CardinalFang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junien View Post
    Logitech will bring its global distribution and marketing capabilities, providing a jump start to a large visibility and adoption of Slim Devices products.Junien
    In that case, I would guess that in order to match the higher profile and wider consumer appeal that you would want to acquire, products like SlimServer have to break out of the more tech-led user base it has so far and develop a more consumer-friendly look and feel?

    Open source development is unlikely to provide that as it tends to build products that match the community's requirements, not the mass market's. You are also less likely to get support from that community now that it is to generate returns for anomymous major shareholders and not company founders. I would assume therefore that more in-house design and productisation is required - that would be the route I'd take.

    I'd actually like to see the server software get more consumer friendly, I'd feel more comfortable recommending it to friends. I wouldn't contribute freely to that myself though - Logitech are a rich company...

  9. #9
    Senior Member CardinalFang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanadams View Post
    We actually do much of our higher complexity manufacturing in Asia already, while final assembly, quality control, and kitting take place in Mountain View. That won't change immediately, but as we grow we will take advantage of Logitech's manufacturing capabilities.
    Oh, so the price will come down :-)

    Damn, I'm a cynical b*sta*d.

  10. #10
    Senior Member autopilot's Avatar
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    I can't blame you for doing this, but i too am very worried.

    So please now please dispense with the vague PR speak, and please be as up front and honest as you can - how is this actually going to work?

    1) Will Logitech just own the company, with Slim Devices operating as a separate entity? Or will the Slim Devices brand name be phased out and the next model (SB4?) be a 'Logitech' device? i fear the latter. In fact it pretty obvious really, in the long term anyway

    Let not forget the edgy ‘cool’ factor that the Slim Devices products have. I’m sorry, but Logitech just don’t have that, no matter how hard you pretend I will always associate Logitech with low end PC speaker systems and horrible keyboards (although i love my MX1000 mouse to be fair).

    2) Will Logitech leaving the Slim Devices team alone to carry on their great work? After all, Logitech effort in this sector have been less than amazing. Much Logitech software is a dog in my experience. The setpoint crap was terrible last time i used it. Will Slim Server remain open source? Be honest now, I Fear not in the long term. Please don’t lose sight of what made Slimserver so popular and won so many people over.

    I hope this is a positive move for us consumers. I am sure it will be one for SD and Logitech (financially anyway). But the ethos of both companies is so different …

    Logitech = Mass market, bang ‘em out. Dumbed down and closed 'lowest common denominator' systems.

    Slim Devices = Consumer centric, specialised “it’s ready when it’s ready” listening to the customer and responding in a personal way, open source.

    Does logitech care about things like internal CUE sheets? Or would they rather forget them in return for a faster output of products, let support issues and selling them to every Joe?

    The response I got when I mouse was faulty was a totally different experience to what I got when my SB3 screen failed. Are they REALLY compatible in their current forms? Again, I doubt it.

    This could be sooooo right for Slim Devices, more money could mean even better products. But Logitech is a large corp and I fear they just want a cash cow like every other large corp.

    Sorry for being so negative, but we have seen this before, no matter how chipper the PR releases are.
    Last edited by autopilot; 2006-10-18 at 15:18.
    Cheers, auto.

    Lounge: Squeezebox 3, Squeezebox Controller, Cambridge Audio 640A, Mission 701's Kitchen: Squeezebox Touch, Trends TA-10.1, Kef Cresta 1's. Bedroom: Squeezebox Boom Bathroom/Garden: Squeezebox Radio Car: iPod Classic 80GB Portable: iPhone 3GS 32Gb (+iPeng)

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