Family Tree Maker Back from the Dead!

BIG NEWS! Ancestry,com announces new Family Tree Maker options after recently pulling the plug on their popular genealogy software.

[Editor’s Note: Well could we really have a RootsTech week without a bombshell announcement from at least one genealogy vendor? We just received the following good news from Ancestry.com about it’s popular Family Tree Maker software.]

New Family Tree Maker Options

By: Kendall Hulet

Since our Family Tree Maker announcement last December, we have continued to actively explore ways to develop and support Family Tree Maker and ensure you have choices to preserve your work in ways that matter to you.

Today, I am pleased to announce two options for desktop software that will work with Ancestry.

Software MacKiev

Software MacKiev, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, is acquiring the Family Tree Maker software line as publisher for both Mac and Windows versions. Software MacKiev has been the developer of Family Tree Maker for Mac for more than six years and is thrilled at the opportunity to publish future versions of Family Tree Maker for Mac and Windows.

This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released.   You will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, Ancestry searches, and be able to save your tree on Ancestry with Family Tree Maker moving forward.

RootsMagic

We have made an agreement with RootsMagic, a leading genealogy desktop software program publisher, to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. With this new relationship, RootsMagic can serve as your desktop family tree software, while having access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches, and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.

We have heard your concerns and are working to provide the solutions you requested. These new agreements will make it possible to preserve your work on Ancestry and Family Tree Maker and enable future features and benefits to help you discover your family history. Be assured that Ancestry, in cooperation with Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, will continue to support you as you discover your family history.
We ask for your patience as we work diligently through all the details to make these solutions available. Be sure to check back on our blog as we share more information about Family Tree Maker in the next few months.

For more information on Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, click below:

©2016, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Blame the Millennials: The End of Family Tree Maker Genealogy Software

Genealogy expert Thomas MacEntee weighs in on the end of Family Tree Maker - can we blame the millenials and the subscription economy?

Genealogy Is All About Change . . . .

By now, many genealogists and family historians have learned of the bombshell announcement from Ancestry.com yesterday in their blog post Ancestry to Retire Family Tree Maker Software. There will be no more sales of the most popular genealogy software after the end of 2015 and Ancestry.com will only support existing versions of Family Tree Maker through the end of 2016.

And while the mob with its torches, pitchforks and rakes gather at the Ancestry.com castle out for revenge and making demands or starting online petitions to keep a dying (and some would say already dead) program alive, let’s look at one of the main reasons for Ancestry’s decision.

It’s the Subscription Economy, Stupid.

Over the past few years, if you’ve taken a close look at products and services, you’ve noticed a shift from “ownership” to “rental.” Examples:

  • The rise of Netflix and other streaming, monthly subscription services at the demise of brick-and-mortar stores like Blockbuster.
  • An increase in “share” services, especially for large price items such as cars: services such as Zipcar are very popular in many cities.
  • In addition, cities like Chicago where I live, have seen the increasing use of “bike sharing systems” such as Divvy with its $75 yearly fee or $9.95 a day pass.

So what is driving this new subscription economy? The Millennials and their purchasing power. In The Subscription Economy: A Business Transformation, we see a move towards monthly or yearly subscription based products such as software which have traditionally been a “one time purchase so I own it” product.

The truth is that the Millennials don’t see the value in ownership of certain items. Some of it is related to limited economic resources and being judicious in how they spend their money. In addition, Millennials appreciate the freedom that comes with not being tied down to a product: if they want to move from QuickBooks to FreshBooks, they can just cancel their monthly subscription and do so.

Take a look at this infographic, Millennials Coming of Age, by Goldman Sachs, for a better understanding of how this dynamic group of consumers is turning the purchase of products and services upside-down in the 21st century.

Why Do Businesses Love the Subscription Model?

From a business perspective, there are many benefits to dropping the traditional product ownership model, such as buying Family Tree Maker and installing it on your computer and moving towards a web-only subscription model:

  • Lower costs having to support older versions of a product.
  • Lower costs in having to program new updates.
  • Lower costs in having to push out new versions.
  • All customers are now on the same version of a program.
  • Businesses can more easily build customer loyalty and leverage the “tribe” concept.

The Future: Genealogy Un-tethered

Personally, I think the Ancestry.com move is a smart one. It allows them to focus more on their website and core customer base. In monitoring various online conversation including Facebook (where there has been much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair), here are some predictions for the future of genealogy software:

  • The demise of Family Tree Maker is just the start of the trend in the genealogy market. However, I predict that programs such as RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree will be on the market for at least another five years.
  • For the genealogy professional who are not fans of keeping client data online, Ancestry and other platforms will act as a “relay” system to access data stored on your computer. While the marketing staff want you to “share” as much as possible, doing so just is not feasible for those business owners who perform genealogy research for clients.
  • Eventually even the operating system for your computer will be “online;” most, if not all, of the current genealogy software programs will have to embrace the subscription model in order to be relevant and to survive.

The death of Family Tree Maker for me is like the death of an old friend: I first purchased the product from Banner Blue software in the 1990s. But it has served its purpose and I’m looking forward to what we’ll see in the future when it comes to storing and managing genealogy research data.

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Ancestry.com Announces New iPad App

ancestry ipad app

[Editor’s Note:  information was just received from Ancestry.com announcing the new Ancestry iPad App.]

Ancestry.com’s New iPad App Lets Consumers Update and Share Family Trees, Old Photos and Records in Stunning Detail

Ancestry.com App Exploits iPad Form Factor and Features to Create a Deeper, Brighter, Smarter User Experience

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced the availability of its new iPad app called Ancestry.

Built specifically to deliver a compelling tablet experience, the new Ancestry app brings to life on iPad’s large screen multi-generational family trees complete with images of original family records and photos, making iPad a powerful tool for users to display and share their trees with family and friends in an interactive, highly visual way.

A dynamic, intuitive user interface and integration with Ancestry.com makes it simple for users to record memories, edit vital information, document life events and organize photos, and also for use in conducting field research, collection, and documentation.

Introducing Ancestry.com onto this compelling platform takes the website one step closer to its mission of helping everyone discover, preserve and share their family history.

“Since I already use my iPhone to document my life, it’s natural to use it to document my family tree,” said Ancestry.com user Aaron Vaughn of San Francisco. “Being able to research and upload photos and information on-the-fly makes updating my Ancestry.com account a seamless part of my life.  Now, with the new iPad app, I’ve got all the added benefits the larger format affords.”

Eric Shoup, Senior Vice President of Product for Ancestry.com, comments: “The new Ancestry iPad app makes it fun and easy to explore and share your family history research by allowing you and your family to tap and swipe your way through your family tree, old photos and records.

“Ancestry.com is committed to leveraging the latest technology to make what we offer on our website easily accessible, simple and enjoyable to use for family history novices and experts alike, at their desks or in the field.”

The Ancestry.com app for iPad is now available for free at the iTunes App Store. A new version of the popular Ancestry.com iPhone app, which includes more features for navigating a family tree and viewing records already attached to a tree, is also available for free in the App Store.

To get started, just download the apps to your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch(i), log in to your Ancestry.com account and choose a family tree.

About Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOMNews) is the world’s largest online family history resource, with nearly 1.4 million paying subscribers. More than 6 billion records have been added to the site in the past 14 years. Ancestry users have created more than 20 million family trees containing over 2 billion profiles. Ancestry.com has local Web sites directed at nine countries that help people discover, preserve and share their family history, including its flagship Web site at www.ancestry.com.

(i) “iTunes,” “iPhone,” “iPod” and “iPhone” are trademarks of Apple, Inc.

Disclosure: please see Disclosure Statements for more information on my material connection with Ancestry.com and other genealogy vendors.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee