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Ubuntu N-ONE: 'Storage war' with Dropbox et al annihilates cloud service

Canonical pulls plug on online file locker, can't compete with rivals' free 50GB space

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Linux distro biz Canonical is shutting down its Ubuntu One online file and music storage service.

The cloud system offered 5GB of space per user account, and allowed Linux, Windows, Android and iOS devices to back up data to its servers. Users could buy a subscription to get additional space. But it was no match for rivals DropBox, Google Drive et al.

"The free storage wars aren’t a sustainable place for us to be, particularly with other services now regularly offering 25GB to 50GB free storage," Canonical CEO Jane Silber said in announcing the impending shutdown.

"If we offer a service, we want it to compete on a global scale, and for Ubuntu One to continue to do that would require more investment than we are willing to make. We choose instead to invest in making the absolute best, open platform  and to highlight the best of our partners’ services and content."

Under the company's roadmap for the shutdown, users will no longer be able to purchase new storage allotments for the service and the client releases of the tool will be updated to provide notification of the looming shutdown.

Additionally, Ubuntu releases 14.04 LTS and later will not offer support for the Ubuntu One service. On June 1, the service will start winding down, and users will have until 31 July to move any data they have stored on the platform.

Following shutdown of the service, Canonical said that it will be releasing the Ubuntu One source code. The Ubuntu One single sign-on tool, Ubuntu One Payment service, and the UB1DB platform will not be affected by the shutdown.

With the plug pulled on Ubuntu One, Silber said her company will shift its focus towards developing the Ubuntu desktop and mobile Linux software.

"This is a tough decision, particularly when our users rely so heavily on the functionality that Ubuntu One provides," Silber said. "However, like any company, we want to focus our efforts on our most important strategic initiatives and ensure we are not spread too thin." ®

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