If your favorite free Web service sends you an e-mail that declares itself "Important," open it pronto--and brace yourself for grim news. If my in-box is any indication, "Important" is becoming a cold, hard euphemism for Sorry, pal, the free ride is over.
In just the last month or so, Driveway notified me (and 8 million other users) that it was discontinuing its online storage service. UReach.com told me it was taking away my all-in-one messaging service--unless I started paying at least $5 a month. And
Searchbutton, which hosted the search engine for my personal Web site, instituted a $500 annual fee for the service it had been giving away.
There's no denying the facts: Lots of companies that thought they could make a business out of free services can't. Either they start charging, or they disappear...
Monday, April 21, 2008
PC World Editor: Free Web Services Disappear, Then What?
Harry McCracken warns: Pay attention to "Important" e-mail from free Web services!