Microsoft to drop Microsoft Money
In a letter to its financial institution partners, Microsoft (MS)announced that it will cease sales of Microsoft Money after June 30th, 2009.
“With banks, brokerage firms and Web sites now providing a range of options for managing personal finances, the consumer need for Microsoft® Money Plus has changed. After suspending annual updates of Money Plus in 2008, Microsoft is announcing that we will no longer offer Microsoft Money Plus for purchase after June 30th, 2009. This includes Microsoft Money Essentials, Money Plus Deluxe, Money Plus Premium, and Money Plus Home & Business.”
Microsoft is ceasing its online feature support for all versions of Money after January 30th 2011. MS will post a public announcement on its web site on June 11th, 2009 (www.Microsoft.com/money). The impact on the Small Business Accounting software (now called Accounting Express) that was based on Money is not detailed, but its fate is not expected to be impacted by the end of the consumer oriented MS Money.
They also say they will post an FAQ detailing a variety of the services that will no longer operate after 2010.
In the FAQ, Microsoft is not recommending that current Money users upgrade from any currently supported version (2006 or higher). However with the announcement of the product’s sunset date, the last version may experience fire-sale pricing.
So, what will MS Money users, like me, do to maintain our personal finances? Some options spring to mind.
- Buy Quicken or some other Personal Finance Management software (PFM)?
- Investigate the myriad of Online PFM providers? Mint, Wesabe, Yodlee, Mvelopes, ... Google lists dozens of these.
- Scrap it all and go back to using a spreadsheet?
- Wait to see what my bank or Credit Union decides to support?
First of all, there is no great hurry. MS Money will continue to function through 2010 and most of the features will continue to function well beyond. Money will still track your expenses, your budget, and project your cash flows. Tax tables, investment rates and prices have always been updateable manually.
Financial Center Online will still support both the history download features and the direct-connect interface (history and BillPayer integrations). Because these features operate independent of the Microsoft sites and services, they will continue to function after the 2011 sunset date.
Perhaps you too will be using this event to evaluate what you were getting from using MS Money in the first place? For me, the product is used for
- Cash flow projection
- Budget management
- Investment “tracking” (IRA, 401k, and stocks) – mostly statement balancing.
Defining what I really need in a PFM will make choosing a new tool much easier. I was never enough of an accountant to enjoy using Quicken and my needs are really not that sophisticated.