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Buy a Flip now before they're gone

If you want to get your hands on one of the last remaining Flip pocket video cameras, now's the time to buy. Just share video carefully.

Cisco will support Flip devices, services, and software until December 31, 2013. Sarah Tew/CNET

Back on April 19, I suggested that people hold off on buying a Flip minicamcorder after Cisco decided to close the business. Cisco's public relations gave me a wishy-washy answer about support for current and future users, saying it would have a transition plan "in the coming weeks" instead of, you know, immediately. Thankfully, weeks turned into days, and Cisco now has a plan in place for the future of Flip.

Sadly, there is still no plan to sell the business to another manufacturer. But, you're safe to buy up the models currently available with full support for hardware and software through December 31, 2013. Hardware will be supported within the terms of the device's one-year warranty from the purchase date (U.S. and Canada). Cisco will end support for FlipShare software and services on that date, though.

The software should remain functional for offloading videos, editing, organizing, and archiving after that date as long as you're using a compatible operating system. Of course, you can always use other software with the video, too, so it's not the end of the world if it stops working. Video sharing will no longer be supported past December 31, 2013.

Though some might consider these devices disposable, I do not, so it's nice to see Cisco publicly announce an end date for support. You can buy the devices direct from Flip (and get them customized) or at retail.