Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

The Problem With SaaS & Cloud Services

When I heard about the iMate Momento digital picture frame, I was an instant fan. I thought it was really great how it integrated with Vista’s SideShow. Once I received one for review, I found out that the execution fell far short of expectations.

Well, today I got an email from iMate, which I am including in its entirety below:

Dear Member,
The Momento Live service will be terminated on February 25, 2009. After that date you will not have access to the Momento Live website or services. However, your Momento frame will be unaffected so you can continue to enjoy viewing your photos on your frame.

The closure of Momento Live web site means you can no longer store your photos on the Momento Live server and/or and share your photos with other Momento Live members.

Important note!  Any pictures that you have stored on Momento Live server will be permanently lost after February 25, 2009.  If you have any images stored on the Momento Live server, please ensure you have a copy of them stored on your PC. Any images that are hosted on Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug, or similar services will not be affected.

When currently visiting the Momento Live web site you may receive a website security warning as the SSL certificate has expired and will not be renewed. Please ignore this message. You are welcome to continue onto the website to retrieve your images.

To visit Momento Live please click here.
Any questions you have may be directed to momentosupport@imate.com

Thank you,

The Momento Support Team

This was not an altogether unexpected move, since the site hadn’t been upgraded since its launch. But the frame’s RSS capabilities were also dependent on the service, meaning those will be down too. Now, its effectiveness is limited to local connectivity… which is fine, except that a bunch of customers paid a premium for the internet connected services, and those customers are now SOL.

Just goes to show you that SaaS / Software + Services / Cloud Services are only useful if the services stay online.

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Comments

  • Adrian said:

    The services don't need to always stay online, but what they do need to have is a way to export the data in a common format so that it can be transferred to a competing service.

    January 20, 2009 9:51 PM
  • Adrian, you missed my point entirely. In this case, the hardware is specifically and unupgradably tied to the software. When the service is shut off, the hardware loses a MAJOR bit of functionality that the manufacturer charged a premium for. When they shut it down, i won't be able to pull my Facebook pictures onto my frame, and that makes me mad.

    January 20, 2009 10:15 PM
  • Jeff Lewis said:

    Not much of a consolation, but you could add an entry to the machine that is connected to the frames host file and point is somewhere else.

    Then you could implement an rss feed produced by a local process to do the same thing.

    I am just restarting my consulting business, so if you could supply me with details and give me a mention on your blog, I would be willing to look into it. To contact me, email my first name @ my website.

    Or, feel free to delete this message and continue morning the loss of the frames functionality....  ;-)

    January 21, 2009 7:21 AM
  • Ian said:

    I bought one for my brother for Christmas, I am so dissapointed as I had set it up to receive my flickr RSS feeds. Now he is stuck with a useless frame (he doesn't have a camera himself he just likes to see my photos and others)

    January 21, 2009 3:11 PM
  • Adie said:

    > But the frame’s RSS capabilities were also dependent on the service, meaning those will be down too

    This is not 100% true. Any flickr RSS feeds you already have set up and running on the frame will continue to work, the service was only used to configure feeds.

    January 22, 2009 3:27 AM
  • Adie said:

    I'd also that although I think they intended to originally, IMate never charged a premium for connecting to the service over and above the purchase price of the frame. It was free to all for over two years.

    January 22, 2009 3:31 AM
  • Tom said:

    The only hope is that iMate will release a firmware update that allows support for the new Windows Live FrameIt service. This basically replicates all of the funtionality of the Momento Live service and adds a lot more.

    Here's hoping!

    Tom

    January 25, 2009 2:54 PM
  • Gina said:

    I just now found out that Ceiva will give you a special deal if you're a Momento Live customer that got gyped when they stopped their service. Pretty smart idea really

    www.ceiva.com/.../momentolive.jsp

    February 20, 2009 1:19 PM