Nokia blows Ovi Files out of the sky
Get off our cloud
Nokia has pulled the plug on Ovi Files, its cloud-based storage system, and told users they've got a month before the the system gets wiped.
Not that users risk losing files - Ovi Files is a synchronisation system, so the data will be replicated on a desktop computer. Nokia suggests that users of Ovi Files might like to use Ovi Suite instead, though that means removing the cloud from the equation.
It was early in Nokia's spending spree that the company bought cloud-storage firm Avvenu, at the tail end of 2007. Avvenu's technology was repackaged and launched as a file synchronisation service when the cloud was a place you put data and the common wisdom was that raw files should be available on the move.
Unfortunately for Ovi Files, it turns out that simply dropping files into the cloud is something of a niche application and one adequately served by Dropbox and its ilk. Most ordinary users see no great advantage in copying all their files to a remote server, as hard disk crashes are sufficiently rare to make worrying about backups a nerd's obsession (until it's too late, of course).
Given the predominance of nerds in Silicon Valley it looked as though everyone was going to be providing cloud-based storage for a while. Ovi Files couldn't compete - despite becoming free more than a year ago, the service still hasn't built up enough of a user base to be worth sustaining.
When we got our email saying that Ovi Files was to be suspended our chief reaction was surprise. We'd apparently set up an account last year and completely forgotten about it. This probably applies to many Ovi Files users. ®
When I first heard of "The Cloud" I thought "fluffy, intangible and liable to piss on you at a moment's notice". I stand by my initial assessment...
Last night I've tried to upload maps for Germany using Ovi Suite and get nowhere with the application. Failed miserably to read content from my 5800XM. I really miss the non-bloatware,non-issues of the old PC suite releases...
Reaction within Nokia
Reactions within Nokia have been mixed. Some want to see it killed because "it never worked properly" (which is probably true, given the state of our other Ovi services); some want to see it killed but an alternative offered, and others (probably the majority) think this is a Really Bad Idea, because we are dumping the users we have and giving them nothing instead.
It was justified by claiming it didn't fit into our overall strategy of providing "first-class mobile experiences" and a load of other business-type gobbledegook.
Anonymous for obvious reasons.