Friday, May 25, 2007

Ultrasoft® Money for Windows Mobile® Pocket PC and SmartPhone

Ultrasoft Digital Media have announced Ultrasoft Money for Windows Mobile Pocket PC and SmartPhone devices. There is more information on their website at but the general gist is that it looks like it will support all versions of Microsoft Money from 2002 onwards and also Windows Mobile devices.

Beta available June 1, 2007
General release August 1, 2007

Microsoft Money 2002 and later.
Pocket PC and SmartPhone devices running Windows Mobile 2003 SE and later.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Money 2005 and Expiration

The following words are written in the licence agreement (EULA) for the UK version of Microsoft Money 2005:


Note the date - 1st September 2007 or 2 years after product installation. They also say they have the right to withdraw or modify these services at any time.

Money 2005 was released in late 2004, and so a good proportion of users will have had their 2 years already. Fortunately for them, the 2 year rule has not (yet) been implemented and they continue to be able to download stock price quotes and statements from their bank.

Those people who have tried the scenario mentioned in FAQ Article 354 will have noticed that nothing happened when setting the clock date forward - this would imply that the cut off is also on the server and not totally reliant on the desktop installation of Money.

So, what is going to happen? That is still an unanswered question. The guarantee of Microsoft Money says:

Microsoft guarantees that (a) for a period of 90 days from the date of receipt of your license to use the software or the shortest period permitted by applicable law it will perform substantially in accordance with the written materials that accompany the software

Therefore it has to work for 90 days - Microsoft have an obligation to provide substantial functionality for that amount of time (one can definitely argue that download capabilities fall into this category - and it does mention these on the packaging). If you take 90 days from today (Monday 14th May 2007), this takes us to mid-August, about 2 weeks before the cut off date in the EULA.

In addition, Money is still being sold in the UK by retailers such as, so unless that stops within the next two weeks, then Microsoft will need extend the service (at least for these new purchasers) beyond the 1st September 2007.

Of course, how does Microsoft know that someone buying the product, say in June, has never used 2005 before? Simply by the file conversion date which can then be used to determine when the 90 days are up. However, if someone had bought 2005 before and buys it again for an extension to the online service (unlikely, but possible), then there would need to be a way that they could know this. It is easier to keep it going for all, rather than revisit 3+ year old code and implement a timeout service again coping with this scenario.

When 2005 was released, it probably hadn't been envisaged or decided that there wouldn't be a 2006 or 2007, so Microsoft have managed to get themselves into a position which perhaps is undesirable.

So, in conclusion, it is most likely that before the service is shut down (if it is), we'll have to see it being stopped from sale for 90 days. Only then will we know for sure... this is similar to how Quicken was withdrawn.

One final thought - if we were to see another version - the 2005 version could be immediately withdrawn from the market and servers changed (after 90 days) to allow only the new version to connect.

Friday, May 04, 2007 currently down

The Money FAQ site is currently out of action - not sure on the reason at the moment, but nothing i've done :-)

If you need to view any pages whilst it is down, then then google cache can be used.

Click on to view the full index as Google sees, and then press the 'cache' option

Normal service will be resumed soon I hope.


Update: 18:00 BST - all back and working. No idea what happened.

Another Update: 14 May - down again, this time longer than before :(

Depreciation and Appreciation

When buying assets, such as vehicles, the price of the asset may depreciate over time. Although it's not strictly necessary to put this into Microsoft money, you may want to avoid sharp dips in your 'net worth' by recording the asset and then writing off the value over time.

In FAQ Article 474, I mention the use of appreciation/dereciation and how to record it in the program. In the following article, it can be used as a mechanism of writing off the value of an asset bought for cash.

Of course, in a non-business scenario, choosing a period to write off an asset is very subjective. When I do it, I typically do it by writing off a nominal amount each month, and then reducing this nominal amount each year. It the asset ever hits a zero value, then I stop depreciating it.

With house price appreciation, then I typically use a fixed amount each quarter. However I review the asset value each year to make sure I haven't got it totally wrong. Recently having my house on the market has enabled me to put in a very accurate valuation (accurate to the point I knew how much someone was willing to pay for it).

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Tracking a house move - part 2

In my previous blog post entitled tracking a house move, I mentioned that I was going to write some articles on how I track this in Microsoft Money.

Unfortunately, circumstances do change, and I'm not now going to be moving house for a little while, so these articles will need to go on hold until we do actually move (could be a couple of years(!)).

Won't go into details, but sorry to disappoint.

Now that a house move is not looming, maybe I'll find some more time to put up new information on and this website.