Xmarks is a great cross browser bookmark and password sync tool. I've been using it for years to sync my bookmarks between the variety of browsers that I use, which is a boon for those of us who develop for the web.

In January I received an email that Xmarks had decided to discontinue their service. This was also posted to the xmarks blog The reason given was that charging for the service was not part of their original strategy, but their business model was not working for them, and the service was costing too much to maintain.

Fortunately, in steps LastPass an established password management tool, and save xmarks from their planned demise. They take xmarks over, and continue the service. Great. Except for one thing. Xmarks also syncs passwords, and this conflicts with LastPass. So they decide to phase out password backups from xmarks.

I recently lost all of my passwords and had to retrieve them from my xmarks account - something that I have had to do a few times in the past (computer fails, all info is lost, thank goodness for backups). This is where xmarks really comes into it's own, and before we had time machine, was the only way to successfully retrieve browser based settings.

Unfortunately, now, with LastPass, I have to manage two tools to do the job that xmarks alone did before, that's two tools for every browser I use, on each machine that I use. That's up to 26 software installations to manage. Aaaarrrrgh.

xmarks is a great tool, but having to run two tools to do what I used to be able to do with xmarks alone is not a preference for me. Additionally, using xmarks was very transparent and non-intrusive, whereas using last pass, is not intuitive, the popups are very annoying and the app is generally very bloated.

I am sure you have heard of the expression "if it's not broke - don't fix it". Well, in my opinion this applies to xmarks.

With the advent of Firefox sync, the only reason I am using xmarks and last pass is to sync between the many browsers that I use for web development, but in all honesty, it is easier to change my usage habits, than maintain multiple programs.

My opinion - they should integrate the last pass technologies into xmarks (or vice versa), but just end up with ONE app.

I'm grateful for being able to restore my recently lost passwords, but have now made use of Firefox sync to ensure that it does not happen again. As for cross browser bookmark backups, at last look I had several hundred bookmarks that I rarely use, most of the useful ones are already referenced in blog posts that I have written, so it's probably easier to search the blog instead.

But whilst I have adopted Firefox sync, I have not uninstalled xmarks or LastPass. I like others, have given them feedback on the new merger, and will wait to see what transpires.