Tuesday, 8 December 2015

FTM discontinued at end of month

You've likely received an email from Ancestry announcing that as of the end of December stand-alone genealogy software Family Tree Maker will no longer be sold. Support will be continued for at least a year. If you didn't get it the announcement is on the company blog.

We have a year to decide how to adapt. No doubt there will be plenty of advice from those more knowledgeable than I am, and some less knowledgeable.

The last version of Family Tree Maker issued was in 2012 and very little has been done with it since. The writing was on the wall.

Why is this happening? It's in the announcement, "the declining desktop software market", "subscription business and website (which) continue to grow."

Ancestry is making business decisions in the interests of their shareholders and judging that not enough people will be upset to end their subscriptions. I think they're right.

Stand alone software in general is on the decline. PAF was no longer supported long ago. The Master Genealogist went out of business a year ago. Now there's FTM and I'd be surprised if the trend didn't continue.

By moving clients to the cloud companies expect you will stay with them, it's the easy option, and continue to pay subscription fees. On the upside upgrades can be pushed out more frequently to keep up with bugs and security breaches. When was the last time you got an upgrade that wasn't delivered online?

As with those other programs FTM will continue to work as long as it's compatible with the operating system.

There is nothing permanent except change.
Heraclitus (544 BC - 483 BC)


Mike More said...

John, there is some good info on alternatives at http://www.gensoftreviews.com/ but like all reviews of genealogy software, they need to be taken with a grain of salt. I read this years ago: "make a list of your requirements and then try out the programs which seem to meet those requirements. Most genealogy software vendors have free trial or demo versions available just for that purpose. Most of the others offer a money-back guarantee."

John McConkey said...

Over 5000 complaints on Ancestry's blog since yesterday (http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2015/12/08/ancestry-to-retire-family-tree-maker-software)so there certainly are upset people out there. Whether this will cause them to rethink their decision is another matter. They certainly are ignoring those who are complaining about having "New Ancestry" forced on them. The ongoing theme of complaints is that Ancestry makes decisions for its own benefit rather than for the benefit of its users.