Xmarks browser sync service to close Jan 2011. Boo!

Xmarks browser sync service to close Jan 2011. Boo!

We were a little miffed to receive an email from the Xmarks team today notifying us that they will be shutting down their free browser synchronisation services on January 10, 2011.

We’ve been using the service to synchronise our browser bookmarks and passwords across multiple machines and browsers for several years, but we’re going to have to start looking elsewhere.

Killed by freebies

Despite being installed on 5 million desktops and having a user base of 2 million users (increasing by around 3,000 new accounts every day), the emergence of alternative free sync features built in to Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome has made Xmarks a less compelling investment for investors.

They explain their dilemma in the company blog:

For four years we have offered the synchronization service for no charge, predicated on the hypothesis that a business model would emerge to support the free service. With that investment thesis thwarted, there is no way to pay expenses, primarily salary and hosting costs. Without the resources to keep the service going, we must shut it down. Our plan is to keep the service running for another 90+ days, after which the plug will be pulled.

Alternatives

With Xmarks closing for good in January, 2011, the company has posted up some alternatives, although none are as flexible as Xmarks:

Firefox Sync
(Mozilla)
Bookmarks, passwords, history, tabs Free
Chrome Sync
(Google)
Bookmarks Free
Windows Live Essentials
(Microsoft)
Bookmarks Free
MobileMe
(Apple)
Bookmarks, passwords $99/year

Instructions for deleting Xmarks off your desktop have been listed here, and I guess it makes sense to move to an alternative sync system sooner or later.

Goodbye Xmarks. And thanks.

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