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I removed the following because it doesn't fit the definition at the begining of the article. Replace it if you like, but try to resolve the contradiction. ike9898 22:14, Mar 1, 2004 (UTC)

Intentional physical obsolescence
  • A product is designed to last for a specific lifetime (example: home entertainment electronics)
  • If a product will be technically or stylisticly obsolete in five years, many marketers will design the product so it will only last for that time (this is done through a technical process called value engineering — great euphemism!)
  • Doing this will reduce the cost of making the product, and lower the price to consumers (unless there is a lack of competition in the industry, in which case the cost reduction will probably not be passed on to the consumer in the form of lower price)

removed a low level vandalism (talk) 05:17, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Term applied to People[edit]

I don't agree that a the word 'obs.' can be applied to people. I realize it may be used this way sometimes, colloquially, but I really don't think it's right. The person's service might be obsolete- the service a cobbler provides is now pretty much obsolete in the US, but the person isn't. Whether or not anyone 'wants' him as a person, and whether or not he performs any use to society isn't really at issue. It's just not a word you apply to people. No one will stop you from using it this way, but it is confusing. Here's an equivalent example: If someone is commiting crimes, you could say that the person is 'malfunctioning', and in a way you would be correct, but it's likely to just confuse the person you are talking to. So....I'm going to change it a little. ike9898 20:46, Mar 2, 2004 (UTC)

Next time you pass by an old age home take 10 minutes and go inside. You will find many examples of people that are being treated as obsolete, that is unwanted, no longer useful etc. mydogategodshat 04:19, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Whatever. This is the end of this argument for me. I would just like to reiterate that some words are applied to people and some aren't. It's a convention of modern English. You can make up your own conventions, but that really sort of defeats the purpose of communication. ike9898 14:11, Mar 3, 2004 (UTC)
We may not like the fact that some people are treated as if they are no longer useful, and we may not like the fact that this fits the definition of obsolescence exactly, and we may not like the fact that people sometimes use the term in regards to people, but that is no reason to hide or deny the fact in an encyclopedia. mydogategodshat 19:30, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)
This article is incomplete without a discussion of obsolescence as it is applied to people. The fact is, the word is used that way. I forget the name, but a famous linguist said something along the lines of "English is the language that English speakers speak". English evolves (did you notice the order of my punctuation in the prior sentence?), and although obsolescence might once have only been applied to objects, it has transitioned over to human application. Also, it doesn't matter if it's not possible for a human to actually be obsolete, why can't we have words for things that are impossible? The word might imply description of an object, but this objectification is often precisely the reason that the word is chosen; it gives the word a certain flavor (notice how I used flavor here, even though we're not talking about food?). This article is incomplete without a discussion of obsolescence as it is used to describe people. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:38, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Obsolete Words[edit]

Perhaps someone could compile some of the obsolete words from wikipedia and create a list of them on this page, or on a separate article?

Nah. -- 00:53, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Question of NPOV[edit]

The following sentence does not strike me as neutral: "Fortunately, since companies prefer to maintain their consumer base, they have a strong incentive to support products for several years after their release." Apparently, whoever wrote it never tried to buy a compatible charger for their six-month-old cell phone at the store where they bought the phone. Bob Badour 23:54, 1 June 2006 (UTC)


Perhaps the article should expanded to include things which are Obsolescent- ie, the actual item itself is no longer made, but the spare parts and accessories which enable it to remain functional are? For example, there are a lot of firearms in calibres which have been out of production for years (The British stopped making .303 rifles in 1956, for example), yet modern commercial ammunition is readily available and there are people who make spare parts for them, enabling owners to continue using their rifles despite the fact they're technically obsolete. The same could be said of a number of items, ranging from Dot Matrix printers to old Radios and TVs that used Valves/Vacuum Tubes instead of transistors... --Commander Zulu 14:14, 19 July 2006 (UTC)


How many of you are annoyed how companies make electronics obsolete? I myself didn't buy a DVD player until 2005, way after the technology was released. From what I heard, in a few more years there won't be DVD's at all, requiring me to purchase whatever latest technology that exists. They are already doing it with TV's by disabling Analog TV signals. Soon we'll all have to purchase a new technology, and I think it's pretty screwed up. What do yall think, do you agree this is wrong, or do you agree that making things obsolete is a way to make technology better? --MidnightScott (talk) 02:30, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't believe that DVDs or even CDs will be rendered obsolete for at least 10 years. They're still fighting the BlueRay versus HD-DVD battle, and that won't be settled for at least two or three more years. You can still buy cassette players, VCRs, and even vinyl LPs, for cryin' out loud. — Loadmaster (talk) 02:31, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
I imagine long ago one of the first guy's ancestors was busy complaining that this whole bronze thing was totally a conspiracy to make people throw away their old flint tools. Herr Gruber (talk) 15:41, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

any marxist scholars out there?[edit]

Sure would be nice if a professor gave input from a Marxist perspective, using more precise disciplinary language and references. Anybody there? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:57, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Philosophies and ideas[edit]

There ought to be mention of the concept of outmoded and obsolescent ideas in philosophies. Much of philosophy focuses on what is modern and what is not, what is obsolescent and what is not. ADM (talk) 11:19, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Unclear introduction[edit]

In the introduction, part of the definition is "...even though it may still be in good working order" (Emphasis is mine)...while "may" is a decent hedge, the weight of it is lost to the balance of the sentence making it seem as though it is at odds with the first entry of functional obsolescence. As I sit here trying to think of a more elegant and clear way to present the idea, it also occurs to me that the definition in and of itself is pretty weak. I think some of the general problem I have with it rests on using the word "want", which also flies in the face of functional obsolescence and planned obsolescence in that in some cases consumers have no desire to move to newer products, but companies discontinue support to help improve revenue from the newer product (one of the many reasons they may choose to).

Maybe something like: "Obsolescence is the process by which something falls into general disuse. The process can start for a variety of reasons, but typically ends with that thing being considered obsolete. Things such as ideas, products, services, and processes can become obsolete while sometimes still being fully functional."...but actually, you know, elegant.

I think I'd also chop off the final sentence of the original as it sets improper expectations with respect to the rest of the article (or maybe move it). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:51, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Style obsolescence[edit]

Can "style obsolescence" be reverted to "psychological obsolescence" ? The latter is more often used in texts, and if not changed, the article is more confusing Do so by undoing this revision: KVDP (talk) 07:36, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

New legal regulation in France[edit]

You may want to add information / updates about the new legal situation in France -- planned obsolescence can have serious consequences, 300.000 EUR, 2 yrs, or even penalties of even 10 % of companies revenue are possible. Class action suits are possbile. -- Thomas Österheld (talk) 23:21, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

No drivers in new Windows version[edit]

I am just writing an article in German and English about my 2004 purchased scanner not working with Windows 7 and higher. I linked the German version to the part "functional obsolescence" where this problem is special mentioned and the open source movement is named as counter movement. Great, my article is about, that my old scanner works with Linux.

But there is no such content here in the English version.

Pege.founder (talk) 06:00, 28 April 2017 (UTC)