I suppose it probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but Microsoft is discontinuing their money management software at the end of the month. They had a good run, but it’s pretty hard to keep up with so many free money management platforms and the long-standing top finance package that Quicken offers.
The writing was on the wall since last fall Microsoft announced they were going to stop selling Money in retail stores and offering annual updates. I know that buying software in the store as a whole might be slowly becoming a thing of the past, but you usually don’t see major titles stop offering their products in stores unless there are plans to discontinue it entirely at some point.
Microsoft did post an official announcement on their site today. It isn’t long, but the important part states (emphasis mine):
Microsoft Money Plus will not be available for purchase after June 30, 2009. All purchased Money Plus products must be activated prior to Jan. 31, 2011. 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 today that we will no longer offer Microsoft Money Plus for purchase after June 30, 2009.
Some things have certainly changed as you have companies like Mint providing a unique personal finance package for free. But I’m not sure what banks and brokerage firms are offering that compete with what Mint, Money, or Quicken have to offer. Sure, they may provide some added features that can help consumers with their money, but nothing nearly as comprehensive as their software.
I think the main issue is that people know that they can get virtually the same level of service without paying by using Mint or Quicken Online. Sure, if you have more complicated finances or need more granular levels of reporting you might still opt for a more robust package. But most people are just looking for something simple, and Microsoft has been lagging in that department for years.
Are You a Money User?
So, I’m curious if there are any MS Money users out there. I’ve used it occasionally over the past few years for testing purposes, but I always fall back on Quicken. It’s not that Money is bad software, but I got my start on Quicken. Like the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. It’s hard to get out of a rhythm. But if you are using MS Money, how did you like it, and is the cancelation of it going to force you to look for an alternative?
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.