LastPass buys Xmarks, rescuing bookmarks-sharing app
A popular bookmarks-sharing app no longer faces oblivion: Xmarks was just purchased by LastPass, a Vienna developer of a well-regarded, secure password-saving solution.
The two firms announced the news in a blog post on each of their sites. Neither post gave financial details about the transaction, but LastPass chief executive Joe Siegrist e-mailed that it involved an upfront payment and a commitment to devote a set share of his company's revenue to fund Xmarks for the first year.
As part of the deal, Xmarks has begun selling a $12/year premium service that adds syncing to iPhones and Android devices, among other features.
San Francisco-based Xmarks -- started as Foxmarks in 2006 with backing by software pioneer Mitch Kapor -- had about 2 million users when it announced in late September that it would would have to shut down its service.
A subsequent posting said the firm had considered and rejected the "freemium" strategy it's now adopting. But LastPass has been selling its own $12/year premium service since March of 2009--Siegrist wrote that about 4.5 percent of its 850,000 users subscribe -- and can now market Xmark's upgrade to its users (subscribing to both services will cost $20 a year).
Neither of those options will sync bookmarks between different browsers--say, Safari on a Mac at home and Firefox on a PC at work. But many users may not bother with bookmarks at all, instead relying on their browsers' address auto-complete and search functions. Chrome already prioritizes them over bookmarks in its interface, and the upcoming releases of Firefox and Internet Explorer will do the same.
I am not among that contingent, and my browser setup matches the description two paragraphs above. Yet I must admit that I've yet to try out either company's service (even after talking shop with Siegrist at a conference in May). So: How do you like each? And what's your review of their combination?
| December 2, 2010; 12:30 PM ET
Categories: Security, The Web
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