Most Microsoft Money users are probably aware by now that in less than a year, ALL users will be offline. In fact, they may already be offline or will be sometime in 2010. The date for me is in August.
Although this world-class program that allows small businesses and individuals to manage all of their finances (and their portfolio in it’s entirety – unlike the websites of their individual banks, credit card companies and brokerages) will function for many years yet, the ability to click on the GO button to update all online information will no longer exist.
The purpose of this Blog is to document and share my endeavors in getting around this restriction, rather than changing to Quicken, GnuCash, Moneydance, Mint, Yodlee, etc. as I’m of the opinion that Microsoft Money is far superior to those mentioned, especially in regards to the intuitive user interface and flexible reporting capabilities. It still surprises me that after pouring over $1 billion into the program, they are just dropping the program.
Yes, you read that right – over 1 billion dollars according to this short blurb WebCPA published last week…
Microsoft came close to buying Intuit in 1994 in a $1.5 billion deal, but the Justice Department objected to the merger on antitrust grounds. Microsoft eventually withdrew from the deal and paid Intuit a termination fee of $46.25 million. During court proceedings, it was revealed that Microsoft had poured over $1 billion into developing its Microsoft Money personal finance software product to compete with Intuit’s Quicken product and pressure its rival into agreeing to an acquisition.
After the deal fell apart, Microsoft developed its own small business accounting software package to compete with QuickBooks. Last year, however, Microsoft discontinued its Money, Small Business Accounting and Office Accounting Products.
Anyways, the software is officially not-for-sale anymore, although many copies remain available from third-party sources. Most users probably feel as I do:
- They prefer to continue using this program, but hope that they won’t have to manually input all of their charge card transactions, checking account transactions, interest payments, bills, brokerage account transactions, etc.
- Also, where will the stock quotes, mutual fund quotes and market indexes that Microsoft currently provides via MSN come from?
- And if they have to install the program on a new computer, how will they be able to overcome the activation requirements?
Well it looks like there are solutions in the works for all of these concerns, and that is what we as a group will post, improve upon, and make available to all.
I’ve extracted some of the Online Services policy from my Money Plus Home & Business program and the red text represents the activity we intend to be able to continue after Money goes offline…
Online Services generally include the following functionality within Microsoft Money Plus:
Financial Account Management
- Importing transaction, balance, and statement information for banking, credit card, investment, and 401(k) accounts.
- Importing transaction, balance, and statement information directly from your financial institution.
- Background banking.
Online Bill Payment & Funds Transfer
- Creating, changing, and canceling new, scheduled, or recurring payments or transfer of funds between financial institutions, and viewing the status of these payments and transfers.
- Downloading updated currency exchange rates and updated prices for stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and other securities.
Synchronization with MSN® Money
- Synchronizing financial data between Microsoft Money Plus and MSN Money and viewing synchronized data.
- Sending new messages to or receiving new messages from your financial institution from within Microsoft Money Plus.