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SkyDesk snags Net backup deals with IBM, Compaq

The online storage provider announces it will provide the computer giants' customers with backup services over the Internet.

    Online storage provider SkyDesk today announced deals to provide Compaq Computer and IBM customers with backup services over the Internet.

    More widely known as @Backup, the company recently changed its name to SkyDesk as part of a retrenching of its corporate strategy. Since then, SkyDesk has been looking for big-name customers to validate the need for online backup.

    SkyDesk earlier this year cut online backup deals with Excite@Home and Internet service provider EarthLink and last year picked up Dell Computer, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and Intuit as customers. Today's announcements extend the company's services, as SkyDesk prepares for a $75 million initial public offering filed in March.

    Last month, the company secured $20 million in additional funding from Qualcomm and Japanese phone-service reseller Hikari Tsushin.

    Big Blue will offer SkyDesk's @Backup service to desktop and mobile customers subscribing to the IBM Owner Privileges Program. A three-month trial--which offers from 50MB to 500MB of online backup--will come with new ThinkPad portables.

    "SkyDesk understands that home and small-business customers have the same need as any large corporation does to protect their important data," John Yengo, vice president of marketing in IBM's Personal Systems Group, said in a statement. "Working with SkyDesk, we can provide them with a world-class, enterprise-level solution that also offers ease of use and cost-effectiveness."

    The Compaq deal will make SkyDesk's service available to all Compaq.net customers buying new Presario PCs. Compaq will co-brand the backup service, which provides customers 20MB of storage for the duration of the Compaq.net subscription. But existing Presario owners are stuck with a free 30-day trial available at Compaq's Web site.

    Besides showing increased interest in providing online backup to consumers, PC makers also are adding other Web-delivered services, such as help-desk assistance from Motive Communications.