Good news: now you can use your favorite software on any computer!
When I was dwelling on advantages and disadvantages of online and standalone bookmark managers in my previous article, I mentioned the possibility of storing Internet bookmarks on mobile storage devices, such as flash drives. But time does not hold still and computer technologies are constantly developing. Now flash drives cost much lower and their storage capacity allows their users to store not only data used by applications, but also applications themselves on them. Such an advance in the technology resulted in a new class of software known as portable.
What is a portable program and why does it differ from a regular program? A portable program is a program that can be run from a mobile device, for example, from a flash drive. As a rule, a portable program does not require any special installation. It can be just copied to a mobile device. Ideally, portable software does not leave any traces on the computer where it is run: no entries in the system registry or desktop shortcuts, no files saved to the hard drive and, if there are any, they are deleted once the program is closed. The settings of a portable program are stored where the program is run from, i.e. on the mobile device. Thus, a portable program can be called a clear, even sterile "weapon".
More and more new portable versions of the most popular programs, both freeware and shareware, have recently sprung up on the software market. Portable Firefox, Portable Thunderburd, Portable OpenOffice are among them. You can find a more complete list of currently available portable software on the website PortableApps.
Trying to keep up with time, mobile device manufacturers offer us the most recent technologies allowing portable software to be run automatically when we connect flash drives to the computer. So, the filial company of SanDisk and M Systems created not long ago and named U3 developed a flash drive standard called U3 and supporting autorun. The list of software complying with this standard is available on the website software.u3.com.
Portable software becomes more and more popular among PC users. This trend is especially important for such computer software as bookmark managers. The thing is that portable bookmark managers deprive their online competitors of their main advantage - the possibility to access bookmarks from virtually any computer connected to the Internet. Now you can just carry your bookmark collection on a flash drive in your pocket together with the program that allows you to work with it anywhere you like: all you have to do is to connect this flash drive to such a computer.
So what portable software do developers of bookmark managers offer?
This program will be perfect for inexperienced users. Bookmark Base has a very simple user interface. The program has a set of basic features: importing and exporting bookmarks for such web browsers as IE, Firefox, Opera; adding and removing folders and bookmarks; checking the availability of web resources.
It is a more powerful program for managing bookmarks. Besides features standard for bookmark managers, Portable Bookmarks has a flexible bookmark search tool by several criteria and a duplicate search tool. Also, it can automatically synchronize bookmarks with IE Favorites and download descriptions and keywords for web pages from the Internet. Besides, this program supports the U3 technology.
I think I will be right if I suppose that new portable versions of other bookmark managers will appear quite soon. Anyway, we can say for sure that the confrontation between online and standalone bookmark managers has moved to a new level. And standalone bookmark managers have the initiative in this fight at the moment.