Microsoft Pulls The Plug On 'Money' Personal Finance App

Consumer demand for products like Microsoft Money has declined "with banks, brokerage firms and web sites now providing a range of options for managing personal finances," Microsoft said on the web site, which also provides a lengthy FAQ page about the product discontinuation.

Microsoft Money, which the company has sold since 1991, has long been an also-ran in the personal finance software market that's dominated by Intuit's Quicken application. Microsoft tried to acquire Intuit in 1994-95 for $2 billion, but the deal fell apart after the U.S. Department of Justice opposed it on anti-trust grounds.

The specific products affected include Microsoft Money Essentials, Plus Deluxe, Plus Premium and Plus Home & Business. Microsoft suspended updates of the applications last year.

Microsoft said current Money owners can continue using the software after June 30. For Money Plus users, online services (such as stock quotes and tax updates) will continue for two years after activation or Jan. 31, 2011, whichever is earlier. And those applications will still be usable after the online services are halted. (Money Essentials isn't designed to be usable once online services have expired, the company said.)

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In a statement Microsoft said the decision to discontinue Microsoft Money was part of the company's "ongoing online portfolio analysis and investment to focus on our top online priorities," suggesting that Microsoft's need to dump poorly performing products was behind the move.

Microsoft stopped selling Microsoft Money through retail channels last year and has been selling it only through the Internet since.

Microsoft said the MSN Money web site would continue to offer personal financial information and advice