I spoke with Escient this AM. According to the support rep, yes, the Vision Line is being killed, but continued support, including the BD Changer support, can be expected. According the rep, the legal problems surrounding Kaleidascape had no impact. Rather, it has been the problems associated with the Escient Vision all along.
I think I'm in a position to shed some insight.
Escient almost certainly has been advised by its legal counsel that the Vision series was released with forward looking statements, and lots of custom designers and consumers bought into those statements and built systems based on those statements. While Escient would certainly argue in court that any remedy should be limited to return of purchase price (as opposed to the consequential damages following the purchase of an Escient product), there are two other conclusions Escient should reach: (1) they don't want to return the money paid for those products; and (2) they really
don't want some starving lawyer to get a load of this as a potential class action.
Class actions, from a plaintiff's lawyer perspective, are even better than sliced bread. A friend of mine was local counsel on one against a computer company that's now bankrupt. The class action itself was based on the fact that the letter "r" would come off the keyboards of lots of their laptops, and laptop owners would need new letters.
Of course, when normal people lose the letter "r" on their keyboard, the first thing they think of is calling a lawyer, right? Well, in this case, the remedy was that a plethora of notices went out to everyone that ever bought the computer, and they were notified that they were the prospective or putative members of a class, and that a settlement had been reached, and they could either join in (by doing nothing), or opt out (by taking the time to write, perhaps hire a lawyer to object to the settlement). The result--you guessed it--was that very few people did anything. On that basis the settlement was approved.
The laptop owners got a card entitling them to a free "r." My friend got about $150,000 as his fee on the case, and he wasn't the only lawyer involved.
Astute counsel for companies like Escient will advise them like this: Tell everyone that you will still support the Vision, and that you will provide each upgrade that you promised. Despite the fact that Escient wants to move away from Vision, it will do this because it is cheaper than getting sued, and having a starving lawyer decide that it should promise this, and add about $500,000 in legal fees on to that expense.
That's a long way of saying that I believe Escient when it says it will continue to support the Vision.
However, I encourage everyone to contact Escient as I did, and confirm what was told to me. Then post it on AVS as confirming the conversation you just had with Escient. Or confirm it in an email to Escient. If Escient's intentions of support ever diverge, let's pledge to help those starving lawyers in getting for us what we need.