Product Expiry in Microsoft Money 2005 UK

Online banking in Microsoft Money 2005 UK will expire 2 years after your file is upgraded or created, or by at latest 1st September 2007. What this means is that you won't be able to download stock quotes, import OFX statements or QIF files or use integrated banking after the expiry date. The text from the license agreement can be found in Article 306 (the French policy can also be found in this article), and general functionality included in this policy on Article 498.

The Internet Based Services Policy (IBSP) for the US versions of Microsoft Money are found at Article 186

My Thoughts on this

The main reason I believe that there is product expiry, is the cost of implementing certain features.

If the feed supplier changed for example, it would cost quite a bit of money to backport code to older versions of Money if that was required to reimplement the interfaces into the feed. All older versions currently enjoy unlimited access to the feeds or to OFX statement downloads. So, once people have paid their money for the product, they are, in effect getting access to investment feeds for free in perpetuity. Obviously not a way to make money.

In the summer of 2004, a change needed to be made to the feed which effectively broke price downloads for Money 97 users. It is highly possible that this might happen again - however, 97 was a long time beyond the available support timeframe. By putting a 2 year limit on certain features, they are saying 'we'll backport to such and such a version, but no further'. (Note - it did happen again, see Article 205)

Intuit brought this in on Quicken (actually, I hear it was worse - reinstalling the product required a new activation key or something like that - maybe someone could fill me in on that), and perhaps Microsoft jumped on the bandwagon. Given Intuit withdrawing from the UK market (Article 103), maybe it illustrates partially it's an expensive business, and so worth cutting some costs (the feed costs are huge).

Microsoft Money, in a sense is a bit of a throwaway product - with new versions coming out regularly, MS must rely on upgrades to maintain some income stream which enables them to pay for the feed and develop the product, so it could be argued that it is good business sense. Given the price of standard copies of Microsoft Money, £10-£20 is a pretty good price to get not only a Personal financial manager, but also 2 years worth of stock quotes on your desktop.

Because the two years ends on 14th September 2006 or later, some people are asking questions about what happens next - see Article 354.

Update - July 2007

The product page on the UK Money site was updated to say 31st December 2009.

Categories: Online, Product

Keywords: Online, UK, 2005, Expiry