Today we are announcing plans to shut down the Ubuntu One file services. This is a tough decision, particularly when our users rely so heavily on the functionality that Ubuntu One provides. However, like any company, we want to focus our efforts on our most important strategic initiatives and ensure we are not spread too thin.
Our strategic priority for Ubuntu is making the best converged operating system for phones, tablets, desktops and more. In fact, our user experience, developer tools for apps and scopes, and commercial relationships have been constructed specifically to highlight third party content and services (as opposed to our own); this is one of our many differentiators from our competitors. Additionally, the free storage wars aren’t a sustainable place for us to be, particularly with other services now regularly offering 25GB-50GB free storage. 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.
As of today, it will no longer be possible to purchase storage or music from the Ubuntu One store. The Ubuntu One file services will not be included in the upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release, and the Ubuntu One apps in older versions of Ubuntu and in the Ubuntu, Google, and Apple stores will be updated appropriately. The current services will be unavailable from 1 June 2014; user content will remain available for download until 31 July, at which time it will be deleted.
We will work to ensure that customers have an easy path to download all their content from Ubuntu One to migrate to other personal cloud services. Additionally, we continue to believe in the Ubuntu One file services, the quality of the code, and the user experience, so will release the code as open source software to give others an opportunity to build on this code to create an open source file syncing platform.
Customers who have an active annual subscription will have their unused fees refunded. We will calculate the refund amount from today’s announcement, even though the service will remain available until 1 June and data available for a further two months.
We will contact customers separately with additional information about what to expect. We will also publish further blog posts with advice on how to download content and with details on the open sourcing of the code.
The shutdown will not affect the Ubuntu One single sign on service, the Ubuntu One payment service, or the backend U1DB database service.
We’ve always been inspired by the support, feedback and enthusiasm of our users and want to thank you for the support you’ve shown for Ubuntu One. We hope that you’ll continue to support us as together we bring a revolutionary experience to new devices.