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Lights off at Ubuntu One: Canonical closes down cloud service

Canonical has apparently decided to call it quits in trying to keep up with Dropbox, Google Drive and other cloud storage systems by shutting down its Ubuntu One cloud file service.

Ubuntu One was introduced in 2009 alongside the release of Ubuntu 9.10 with 5GB free, and, if you paid for its premium service, 20GB along with music streaming.

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Those services will cease availability from 1 June 2014, though users' content will be retrievable until the end of July. Past that time though, everything will be permanently deleted.

The main problem Ubuntu One faced was in challenging big competition from major cloud players like Google, Microsoft and DropBox. With prices becoming ever more competitive, Canonical just couldn't keep up.

"The free storage wars aren't a sustainable place for us to be, particularly with other services now regularly offering 25GB-50GB free storage," wrote CEO Jane Silber on the company blog.

"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."

Ubuntu One's source code will be released for programmers to create their own versions of the open-source file syncing platform.

The news was met with some disbelief and disappointment from users in the announcement's comment section, where some unhappy members wondered if it was all a late April Fool's joke.

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A touch of irony hinges on the closure, too, as Ubuntu is the top operating system on OpenStack and Amazon Web Services, according to ZDNet.

It is possible that this may not be last closure of a cloud-based service as prices and storage sizes get ever more competitive, especially with AWS, Google and Microsoft going head-to-head to offer the best discounts.