HP shuts down Upline online storage service

Tells customers it will store existing data until end of March

Hewlett-Packard Monday said it has closed down its online backup service after less than a year of operation.

HP did not provide a reason for closing the service other than to say, "HP continually evaluates product lines and has decided to discontinue the HP Upline service on March 31, 2009."

Patricia Kinley, a spokeswoman for HP's Personal Systems Group, said the company stopped backing up files as of February 26.

"HP will keep the file restore feature of the Upline service operational through March 31, 2009 ... in order for customers to download any files that have been backed up to Upline," she said in an e-mail response.

HP's Upline service had trouble from the start. Three weeks after opening in April last year, it went down for a week. Users at the time reported problems in the client software to upload and synchronize files with the hosted service -- calling Upline a good idea that was horribly executed.

The Upline service was among a number of subscription-based online backup models that emerged over the past couple of years, including EMC's Mozy, Nirvanix, Carbonite, Symantec's upcoming SwapDrive, ClunkClick and Robobak , and Yahoo Briefcase, which also announced it will be shutting down this month.

Like many of the other service offerings, HP had acquired the technology for Upline. HP bought start-up Opelin in November 2007 for its Titanize cloud-based file backup service.

HP's Upline service charged between US$4.99 to $8.99 per month for unlimited online storage to home, family and professional users.

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