Free BrowserLab - attempt to put all competing services out of business

I’m trying to figure out why Adobe is offering free BrowserLab (multiple browser screenshot service) for free for such a long period of time - almost 2 years (according to their site they will start charging $10-$20 monthly for this service sometime in 2011).

The only thing I can think of - they believe that by that time most of the small competitors (us, i.e. BrowserSeal, Multibrowserviewer, Litmus, Crossbrowsertester, Browsera, etc) will be out of business as small companies whose sole business is this screenshot service cannot afford to burn money for more than a year without profits.

Any thoughts on the subject ?

[FONT=“Georgia”]I have no thoughts on it except to say that as someone who may use the service, why should it matter to me what their motivation is?

There’s also that old saying that discounts are permanent. It will be very, very hard for them to convince people in 2011 (if that story is true) to suddenly start paying for what was a free service before. If they do, the market will suddenly open up wide for competing services.

Until then, any paid services will have to come re’l good. If I’m paying for something I could get for free elsewhere, I want to be getting something extra, some added value, that I wouldn’t be getting from the free service. Trying to win sympathy points isn’t enough.


First, the “story” is true -

Nobody is expecting people to pay for nothing, when there is a free alternative. Just for the record, paid services do offer more - more browsers, support for file:// URLs, etc. Anyway, I didn’t start this thread just to promote BrowserLab alternatives, but rather to understand their motives.

I can hardly believe that company such as Adobe would suddenly start providing free services.

They would if they felt that it would promote their own services.

Hey Mr. HomeWebMaster, check out how crummy your site looks like in browser X, Y and Z, I’d suggest you put it together in Flash Professional or PDF, that way it will render properly in all browsers that have installed our plugin.

I would think it stands to their advantage to keep people using their free service, after all think of the kind of people who shell out hundreds of dollars for Dreamweaver, if they can integrate the service into the product in some fashion it instantly gives those users another good reason to stick with what they are using and pay for the latest greatest version which supports it. Adobe aren’t idiots, if they are keeping it free there is probably a good financial reason for getting people addicted to the service. Perhaps they will introduce a professional version with mobile device support (for stuff like the iPhone) for example. :slight_smile:

>Dreamweaver, if they can integrate the service into the product in some fashion
This makes perfect sense and this is actually what MSFT is doing with their Superpreview. But Adobe… so far we heard no similar plans from them.