A couple weeks ago, Microsoft made they sad announcement that they are discontinuing my favorite video game -- Microsoft Money. The current version will be the last one, and in less than two years, they will turn off the online updates service.
You can see the official announcement here, and the FAQ here. The software will keep working beyond that day; users just won't be able to make electronic payments through Money or automatically download updates. To get updates, they will need to manually download them from their banking provider.
Or switch to Quicken or another financial application.
It's too bad, really. I've been using Money to run my financial life for years. The first entry in my Money file is from 1995-02-17. I paid $17.72 to my Exxon credit card. I probably began using the application a couple months later (since I didn't have the computer until about March) but I went back and entered older data.
It was Money that showed me just how far in debt I was at my worst, and kept me on track for paying things off and minimizing my spending. The EPAY feature allowed me to make payments directly from the software instead of mailing in checks. That helped keep me from missing payments, incurring more late fees, and spending a ton on stamps.
The rising net worth chart gave me some positive reinforcement and encouraged me to continue. The drops in the net worth chart reminded me to refocus my efforts to pay down debt and save more.
A few years later I started traveling for work, and Money was an invaluable tool for managing my expense reports. The charts and reports made it easy for me to track my business expenses and separate them from personal expenses. It made it easier to manage the whole process of making interest free loans to large multi-national corporations.
And more recently, I learned to use Money to maximize my profit from Credit Card Arbitrage.
It's disappointing to see it go, but I suppose it makes sense for MSFT to do it. They seem to be streamlining their products lines and cutting products that are less critical to their success, less profitable, and with smaller fan bases.
And as a product it may have been reaching then end of its development life. Money is already a full featured home-finance application so there's not much more they could do to it to enourage people to buy the next version.
I guess I'll be doing some research over the next year.