August 20, 2012, 7:41 AM — Cloud computing company Joyent informed customers this week that a "lifetime" Web hosting offer that it promised more than six years ago would be coming to the end of its life this fall.
In 2005 a company named TextDrive -- which had affiliations with Joyent at the time -- offered beginning customers lifetime access to Web hosting services for an initial invest of $499. TextDrive eventually folded into Joynet and yesterday Joyent informed select users that the lifetime Web hosting offer would be coming to an end.
"For many business reasons, including infrastructure performance, service quality and manageability, these early products are nearing their End of Life. We plan to sunset these services on October 31, 2012," Joyent officials informed select customers, according to an email user Ken McKinney posted on his Google+ profile. Similar letters were posted by other Joyent customers, all noting that users receiving the email were "one of the few customer still on our early product."
As consolation, Joyent is offering customers the free use of one of the company's SmartMachines for one year. That wasn't enough for user Nick Carroll, who posted on his blog that "Joyent conned me with a lifetime hosting deal." "Lifetime means a lifetime," said member odinsdream.
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Many affected users seem particularly upset because they viewed their initial investment in the Web hosting services as a sort of crowd-sourced venture investment to help get TextDrive off the ground. In response for taking a chance on the company and investing in it, they were promised the lifetime of services.
According to this archive posted on the community forum, the initial offer cost $499 and included 15 top-level domains, 20GB of bandwidth per month and 2GB of storage space from TextDrive, along with a "complete hosted application suite" from Joyent for up to five users that is good for "as long as we exist."