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.

Alert – Upgrade Scams via Email

alert

We received a message from one of our faithful readers and members concerning emails about upgrading versions of software.  This is important information for all members of GeneaBloggers to understand!

Issue

You might receive emails asking you to click a link to upgrade your copy of Adobe Reader or Skype. Those links actually take you to other 3rd party sites asking you to purchase

  • Action Required : Upgrade New Adobe Acrobat Reader 2011 For Windows and Mac
    Go to http://www.adobe-2011-download.org
  • Download New Skype Software For Your Windows And Mac
    www.official-skype-2011.org

I have purposely omitted the links above. Using these URLs will take you to websites that even use the same colors as the authentic websites to try and trick the unsuspecting into using their links for downloads. The Skype imposter actually offers this disclaimer in very tiny print at the bottom of their site:

Disclaimer: This website has no affiliation whatsoever with the owner of this software program and does not re-sell or license software. All software is freeware and/or shareware with the understanding that the user may need or want to pay for it later. Membership is for unlimited access to our site’s resources. We provide an organized website with links to third party freeware and shareware software, technical support, tutorials and step by step guides.

Solution

As I teach in my Facebook classes and in fact all my classes: never click a link in an email.  Period. If it is true, go to the site, such as Facebook and you’ll see a notification for a new friend, or a new event etc.

Same is true for updates to legitimate software you’ve already installed! Open the program and if in doubt, go to the Help menu.  Very often there will be an upgrade option and you can verify if you have the correct version of the software.

Conclusion

‘Tis the season to rip off the unwary consumer.  Remember December is the month when many of these companies employ desperate and questionable practices to pad their bottom line by selling unnecessary programs by the end of their fiscal year. Don’t fall prey to their tactics.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee