Monday, 22 August 2016

FTM: the story continues

Last December Ancestry announced it was discontinuing sales of Family Tree Maker software and would end support at the end of 2016. Many assumed FTM was dead. Other companies moved quickly, some would say in the style of ambulance chasers, to pick up clients for their competitive software.

The situation is reminiscent of a Mark Twain misquote: The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

Following massive negative reaction in February Ancestry sold FTM to Software MacKiev which has several years experience with the Mac version of FTM, and that it "will continue to have all the familiar capability."

As I wrote in February "FTM users should continue to watch and wait. There may well be yet other options for those who want to stay with desktop software, or you can always go with a cloud-hosted solution."

On Sunday I received a bulk email from Jack Minsky, President of Software MacKiev. Quoted below are a couple of paragraphs.

Still works with
Our updated versions for Mac and Windows pick up right where Ancestry left off so you'll still get Ancestry's "shaky leaf" hints, and use TreeSync to keep your Ancestry online tree in synch with the Family Tree Maker tree on your computer. You won't need to transfer your Ancestry subscription if you have one – it will just work. And all your tree files will just open after you update, no conversion utilities required. Our free updates for FTM 2014 and Mac 3 users will be available soon, but there's also a discounted upgrade for users of older versions (see below), and full versions for new users in our Web store
Discounted upgrades from older editions.
If you know anyone who has FTM 2012 or older (or Mac 2 or older), let them know that for a limited time they can download an upgrade copy for just C$39.95 (vs. C$99.95 regular price) by clicking here. They'll get a full free–standing Canadian edition installer for one computer, so they won't need to worry if they don't still have their old edition installed or they're moving to a new computer. They'll also have a chance to purchase a backup DVD for C$20 (including shipping and handling) or can upgrade their single–computer license to a three–computer family pack for extra C$30. You may also purchase FTM at the upgrade price for someone as a gift.
Did you notice the regular price --  $99.95 Cdn. Compare that to  Family Historian 6 at $59.50 Cdn; Legacy Family Tree 8.0  Deluxe Edition for US$29.95; Roots Magic 7 at US $29.95;  and others.

If you stay with FTM, and believe the company promise, you should have a clear path forward with no transition concerns, no learning curve to navigate and a reasonably competitive upgrade price at present.

However, I'm hearing good things about Roots Magic which is still offering a $20 US special for transfers from FTM, file import without using GEDCOM which can cause loss of data and interface capabilities with Ancestry previously only available with FTM.

Comments from those with recent experience in making the transition welcome.


Janet Magnuson said...

Helpful info - thanks!

John McConkey said...

It's still not clear if FTM2012 and FTM2014 will lose their TreeSync capability after Dec 31. I suspect they will but if not I'm just going to keep using my FTM2012 which works fine with Windows 10. My backup plan is Roots Magic 7 (which I have already purchased and tried out). This is guaranteed to have TreeSync capability by the end of the year. In fact they announced the first step in this collaboration with Ancestry in March - they now support "direct" import of FTM files (you could do it before but now it's easier). Roots Magic is just as good if not better than FTM, you can use it on multiple computers and it's inexpensive. It's currently $29.95 US but I'm sure they will have a $10 off sale to attract FTM users before the end of the year.

Linda Stufflebean said...

Neither FTM nor RootsMagic are promising a TREE sync capability, just a sync function, which might be as robust as syncing a tree or as minimal as syncing one person at a time. We will have to wait and see what is rolled out by the end of the year. It's my understanding that the full tree sync of FTM will end on Dec. 31.

Trevor Rix said...

The UK version of the email says "Anyone who has FTM 2012 or older (or Mac 2 or older) can download an upgrade for the next few days for just £19.95 by clicking here. The price goes back to £24.95 this coming weekend."