Framework lays out plan to improve its firmware and software development cycle

Only two days ago we were talking about the software and firmware issues at Framework, and today the company’s CEO has announced they’re taking some pretty big steps to address these problems.

When building products to last, it’s not enough to design the hardware to be repairable, upgradeable, and customizable. The overall longevity of devices as complex as modern notebooks also depends on how long the software and firmware continues to be useful. That includes compatibility updates to support newer generations hardware modules, fixes for bugs or compatibility issues found by end users, and especially patches for security vulnerabilities. We recognize that we have fallen short of where we need to be on software updates, and we are making the needed investments to resolve this.

We now have a dedicated team of engineers at our manufacturing partner and a set of internal stakeholders focused on ongoing software updates for all of our products, going back to our original Framework Laptop with 11th Gen Intel Core. In the past, we were reliant on ad-hoc availability of engineering time from our suppliers (basically borrowing staffing from whichever new product development we had ongoing). This was inconsistent and resulted in slow progress. With a dedicated team, there is no longer resource contention, and we are able deliver shorter turnaround times from discovering issues to resolving them.

↫ Nirav Patel

They’ve also shared exactly how the development, testing, and release process new firmware releases will work, from identifying any issues to the final release to consumers, and they’re hiring new employees focused entirely on expediting this process. They also promise to support each device for as long as their upstream silicon vendors will, but they can’t give any guarantees on how long that will be since those upstream vendors aren’t sharing details like that.

All in all, I think this is about as good a response as you can get from an OEM, but as they themselves note, they’ll have to show their customers these aren’t just mere words. Assuming it pans out the way Framework is promising here, I think it’s a fair and customer-friendly process.


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