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Xmarks to close its doors

Xmarks to close its doors

The popular Xmarks service is to close, after failing to find a route to profit or a buyer for the business.

Bookmark synchronisation service Xmarks is to close its doors at the start of next year, following a failure to turn the free service into a viable business.

The service, which launched back in 2006 as the FoxMarks plug-in for Firefox, allows users to store their history, bookmarks, saved passwords and opened tabs on a central server and push them out to multiple browsers - allowing anyone who has more than one PC to keep their browsing neat and tidy.

It's a popular service, with company co-founder and chief technical officer Todd Aguinick estimating that it has around two million users synchronising data from around five million desktops - and continues to grow at the rate of around 3,000 users per day.

Popular, however, doesn't mean profitable. Having failed to find a path to profitability themselves, the people behind Xmarks started looking for potential buyers earlier this year, hoping that more business-oriented heads could spot an opportunity that the techies had missed. Sadly, despite Aguinick saying that the company was recently "remarkably close to striking a deal" with an unidentified company, no buyer has come forward - leaving the company out of both money and options.

As a result, the Xmarks service is scheduled to shut down on 10 January, 2011. The team has compiled a list of alternatives for all major browsers, including Firefox Sync, Chrome Sync, Windows Live Essentials for Internet Explorer and the paid-for MobileMe service for Safari. However, only Firefox Sync offers the same depth of synchronisation in which Xmarks specialised.

Finishing his announcement, Aguinick stated that "I’d like to thank our investors, who stuck with us through uncertain times; my colleagues, who toiled long hours in search of a scalable business; our localisers, who made Xmarks available in 33 languages; and our users, for their unstinting support, and willingness to tell us quickly and candidly when we misstepped. You will all be missed."

Are any Xmarks users here sad to see the service go, or is it difficult to recommend a third-party system when most browsers have official synchronisation options these days? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

39 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
proxess 28th September 2010, 09:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by julieb
:'(

My feeling exactly. I'ma let you finish but it's probably THE greatest Firefox (and all others tbh) add-on of all times.
Singularity 28th September 2010, 10:36 Quote
Nooooooooo :(
I love xmarks...
MrJay 28th September 2010, 10:37 Quote
Bugger : /
Best addon ever, don't know what id do without it...
bogie170 28th September 2010, 11:05 Quote
Someone must buy this company?
funkymonk 28th September 2010, 11:07 Quote
whaaaa? noooo.

Love this add-on, first add-on i go to after doing a fresh install or install on another pc.
Skutbag 28th September 2010, 11:16 Quote
Dang. But I suppose its a tricky business model, tragically. I use it, but if pushed I wouldn't pay for it so best leave it to the browsers to do themselves I spose.
eddtox 28th September 2010, 11:42 Quote
:( I love Xmarks. I didn't know about FFsync though, so I'll have to give that a go. /issad
Tattysnuc 28th September 2010, 11:46 Quote
Bugger indeed.
Usually this is the first add-on I put onto a new PC and it contains links to all the software and drivers I need to install. Shame to see you go! I wonder if we'll be able to host the service ourselves rather than on Xmarks servers as an alternative so that the product can live on...
Bindibadgi 28th September 2010, 12:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Singularity
Nooooooooo :(
I love xmarks...

This. I now haz a proper sad :( Now I have to find and use another bloody sync tool on all my systems. If Google had kept up Googlesync it wouldn't be an issue :/
dolphin-promotions 28th September 2010, 12:13 Quote
FF Sync is great but it started off much later than FoxMarks/XSync and has been playing catchup somewhat. It is great though though obviously has a major disadvantage of not being a cross browser tool
lacuna 28th September 2010, 12:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJay
Bugger : /
Best addon ever, don't know what id do without it...

Enter your passwords manually...
DXR_13KE 28th September 2010, 12:35 Quote
balls!
logan'srun 28th September 2010, 12:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJay
Bugger : /
Best addon ever, don't know what id do without it...

+1
GravitySmacked 28th September 2010, 12:51 Quote
What a shame, such a useful service - gutted.
Denis_iii 28th September 2010, 13:01 Quote
:( poo
Baz 28th September 2010, 13:16 Quote
This sucks huge monkey testes.

Bugger.
Farting Bob 28th September 2010, 13:17 Quote
I guess having your entire business model based around a free Firefox addon is always going to be tough. But then theres plenty of other addons that do the same thing with maybe not quite as much polish.
sandys 28th September 2010, 13:17 Quote
Can't they just charge for the software, if it has so many users who have been using it for a while I'm sure they'd want to hold on to the functionality like I do, I don't want to find an alternate, I'd pay a few quid for it.
eddtox 28th September 2010, 13:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandys
Can't they just charge for the software, if it has so many users who have been using it for a while I'm sure they'd want to hold on to the functionality like I do, I don't want to find an alternate, I'd pay a few quid for it.

I think the big question is how many people would pay and how much. I would imagine they looked into that possibility and found that they just couldn't get enough to make it a viable business model.

Remember that they have servers to run and wages to pay. I wonder if they would be willing to opensource it?
goldstar0011 28th September 2010, 13:42 Quote
Very upset about this, made my life so easy!!
ReD_Energy 28th September 2010, 14:13 Quote
This is so bad. Xmark is the best sync for browser and works better and faster than the Firefox sync. Hope they will find a way to keep the sync alive.
popcornuk1983 28th September 2010, 16:32 Quote
Aww this sucks! XMarks has been a godsend for me. I use multiple browsers (for web dev) and have 2 computers. There is nothing worse than bookmarking a page and forgetting the link when your away from home.

I hope they manage to find a buyer or open up donations or something to keep them going. I would totally pay to keep the service running. I'm actually surprised they've not already started charging for some kind of premium service.
eddtox 28th September 2010, 16:54 Quote
I think they should just opensource it and have P2P-style distributed servers :D
GravitySmacked 28th September 2010, 16:59 Quote
And then just watch as all your accounts get hacked.
delriogw 28th September 2010, 17:06 Quote
ah crap, that sucks, i LOVE xmarks - so helpful with having two computers
eddtox 28th September 2010, 17:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GravitySmacked
And then just watch as all your accounts get hacked.

Not necessarily. I'm sure there are clever people out there who could make it work. Maybe splitting each person's data into multiple parts across a few servers.
knuck 28th September 2010, 17:22 Quote
ahhhhh that sucks ...

I hope this doesn't happen to lastpass because I would be PISSED
Cupboard 28th September 2010, 17:31 Quote
Nooo!
Since Google Browser Sync stopped, I found XMarks really useful.
There is clearly a market for this sort of things, its a shame that people can't make a go of it.
bigkingfun 28th September 2010, 17:50 Quote
I started using it when it was called Foxmarks.
It was so useful. It worked seamlesly on multiple platforms/browsers and never gave my trouble. It is good software with a solid userbase and a solid growth.

Come on Dennis, time to cut down on employee perks and branch out!
Saivert 28th September 2010, 22:37 Quote
Firefox, Google, Safari and Opera has their own synchronization service built-in now.
Sure it is not cross browser but Firefox sync is open source which means other browsers could use the same model (but wont). Then others might take up on it.

Or you could just use the same browser on all machines.
but that would probably be way too inconvenient or what? /sarcasm
PhoneyVirus 29th September 2010, 02:28 Quote
This is really sad just like Google Browser Sync for Firefox that end in 2007 and forward me to Foxmarks and loved it, until now. It was just yesterday that I said Xmarks are the best at what they do when I was backing up my Bookmarks to Delicious. I'm just stick with Delicious for my Bookmark needs but I must say there Ad-on is a really Annoying with updates, well we can Blame Firefox for that.

Delicious all The Way!
rickysio 29th September 2010, 11:24 Quote
I've been using Firefox (Formerly called Weave Sync AFAIK, they changed the name or something) Sync and so far, it does everything X marks does.
tin can 29th September 2010, 13:33 Quote
Firefox Sync syncs bookmarks between Firefox, Chrome and IE?
The_Beast 29th September 2010, 18:02 Quote
Someone has to buy it, please, even if you add some advertisement I'd still use it
jake9891 30th September 2010, 12:26 Quote
that really upset me ;( I love xmarks!!!!
frenchscottie 1st October 2010, 00:53 Quote
I've never actually used it , but surely if they put a donate button they would get some money. or if it has 2 million users, and surely no one would grudge paying a one of payment of £1 or whatever, then that's a lot of money.
eddtox 1st October 2010, 09:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchscottie
I've never actually used it , but surely if they put a donate button they would get some money. or if it has 2 million users, and surely no one would grudge paying a one of payment of £1 or whatever, then that's a lot of money.

Hmmm... I'm not sure that even £2 million would keep them running for very long. Eventually the money would be used up and they would need more.
wuyanxu 1st October 2010, 10:25 Quote
Foxmarks user since days of Firefox 1.6 (or there about), so very sad to see it end.

wouldn't mind them inserting a moveable ad folder into bookmark menu, just to allow them to stay alive
rickysio 2nd October 2010, 05:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tin can
Firefox Sync syncs bookmarks between Firefox, Chrome and IE?

I forgot to add "at least for me," in front of "it does everything X marks does.", but YMMV should be an automatically assumed assumption for any post, no?

I don't use the other browsers as much as I use Firefox, (I don't use IE except when necessary, and SRWare Iron [privacy-focussed edition of Chrome] lives in my N900 (as a portable edition to be used over USB from the PC) so it doesn't affect me much.
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