Xmarks bookmark-syncing service shutting down January 10, 2011

Posted by & filed under Catherine Uses..., Complaint Department.

Beyond my operating system, there are a few utilities my workflow really can’t live without.

Google Calendar, Firebug, Simplenote, Notational Velocity, Google Reader, TextMate, Synergy. I’ve written about most of these. And then there’s Xmarks, the cross-platform, cross-browser, cloud-based bookmarks synchronization app we’ve all come to know and love. It’ll be discontinued as of January 10th, 2011. Awesome.

Citing budget issues and a lack of any viable business model in his blog post, Xmarks CTO Todd Agulnick cites the difficulty of competing with native sync features in Firefox and Google Chrome:

[W]ith the emergence of competent sync features built in to Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, it’s hard to see users paying for a service that they can now get for free. 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.

Which, you know, sounds understandable and all, but man

The really unfortunate thing for me is that their competition doesn’t compete all the way. There isn’t currently another good way for me to handle bookmarks synchronization between Chrome, Firefox, and my iPhone–and 90 days is not a lot of time to get one up and running.

But all may not totally be lost! From the Xmarks shutdown FAQ:

Q: What about open source? Would you consider releasing the client?
A: We are still considering this option and may release one or more clients as open source in the future if we can identify a maintainer.

Is that you? If so, please save my Xmarks. Seriously.

4 Responses to “Xmarks bookmark-syncing service shutting down January 10, 2011”

  1. Bartholomew Gallache

    True, they are closing, but: you are not forced to use their server space. You can use any WebDAV-enabled storage you want, so if you got your own webspace somewhere you are ready to use it even after the 1/1/11, it is just a few settings in the add-on and you are done.

    • Catherine Winters

      Totally–if you’re using the Firefox plugin. I want to be able to do that with all my browsers. Otherwise…well, it’s not quite the same, you know?