Last week, Microsoft announced that it would no longer sell its semi-popular personal finance program Microsoft Money. The announcement no doubt brought fear to many Money users who have years, possibly decades, of financial information wrapped up in an encrypted and proprietary file.
While a situation like this would normally lead to a lot of angry customers, Intuit, the makers of Quicken have teamed up with Microsoft to offer Money users the ability to import their important data into Quicken.
Scott Gulbransen, senior manager of public relations for Quicken, stressed that the team working on this process at Intuit is aware of the value that this data has to Microsoft Money users. While there is hope that the import process will be available this fall, when Quicken 2010 is released, Gulbransen said Intuit was committed to getting it right rather than getting it fast. Since Microsoft will support existing Money customers through January 2011, there is certainly plenty of time to get things right and make it simple for customers.
While unable to commit to any specific items, Gulbransen said that users may need to set up bill pay services once they switch to Quicken, since they would be handled differently. Time will tell what all will transfer to Quicken, but the focus on getting it right bodes well for users.
If you're a MS Money customer who wants to get a better feel for what will likely be the new home for your financial data, you can check out demo videos of the Quicken software, and explore the specific version available. There is no free trial of Quicken software, but Intuit does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can feel confident in your decision to switch. Intuit is currently offering $20-$50 off of Quicken software for Microsoft Money customers.
Gulbransen also assured WalletPop that Intuit will not be leaving the desktop behind even with the popularity it enjoys from Quicken Online. He told us that, "As long as customers want it, Intuit will be there. Quicken wants to be the best choice for customers."
A final hat tip goes to Microsoft for keeping the needs of its users in mind as it made the decision to stop developing Money. It would have been very easy to simply cut off support and leave customers to fend for themselves, but the company is actively working with Quicken to ensure that important financial information is not lost. It truly warms the cockles of this blogger's heart to see two rivals come together for the benefit of their customers.
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