Friday, December 12, 2008

Quotes not updating or slow to update

When: Dec 8, 2008

Effect: When attempting to update quotes in Microsoft Money or on MSN Money's Portfolio, the update may take a long time to complete or you may get an error message about not being able to connect to the online quote server.
This is currently under investigation.

12/9 Status: Possible hardware problem under investigation.
12/10 Status: Slowly improving. More likely to experience problems during busier times of the day. (Try again later). We anticipate having all of the affected hardware updated by the end of this week.

You may be able to get quotes updated by simply trying again or by limiting the number of quotes to update at one time (In Money Plus, you do this by selecting Pick Quotes to Download after clicking Update Prices in the Portfolio view).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Further details on October MSN Money update

When: October 23

Primary updates include:
Redesigned Investing Home page
A few new calculators including a Driving License quiz
Update to the Deluxe Portfolio for Vista users (all Vista users of the Deluxe Portfolio will be prompted to update/install)

One update will impact Microsoft Money 2007:
Due to an update to Windows Live ID (Passport), Sharing a Money file with multiple Live Ids will be disabled. We recommend that you follow the Stop Sharing help topic in Money to disable any secondary IDs allowed to sign into your Money files. To continue sharing your Money file with more than one user, you can create a new WLID that all users know and then associate your Money file to that "shared" WLID. You can change the WLID for a file by going to File - Password Manager.

This update should not result in any downtime. More information can be found on the MSN Money Status Page

Monday, October 06, 2008

October Site Update

When: On or around Oct 23rd


Some features may not be available for a few hours after market hours. This may include:

My Accounts
Bill Pay
My Money

Duration: From approximately 2 to 9 PM (Pacific)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Microsoft MVP Award 2009

I've just received this email:
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2009 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others.
It means that I am now starting my 11th year as a Microsoft MVP.
To be honest, I was surprised that I received it this year, as my posting to newsgroups was much less than in previous years. I've focussed more on the website and this blog as I feel it has a wider reach. In addition, it saves me repeating answers to questions that I have answered before. I've actually been dipping into the newsgroups a lot less recently. I've a number of short articles to write for the website, and I am trying to overhaul some of the product pages to allow me to update them easier and for them to perform better (they retrieve data directly from Amazon, and I am finding their web services a little unreliable).
The MVP award also gives me an invitation to Redmond (which will be in March 2009). I didn't visit this year, and as yet I'm not sure whether I will next at present, due to the uncertain (nay, lack of) job. Sometimes fellow MVPs get to visit the Money team - maybe that'll be possible next year.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

All quiet on the Money front

It's been a little quiet on the Money front recently. As there is no new product this year, Money Plus continues to be the one to purchase if you're looking for a replacement for an expired version of Money 2006 (expired on 1 September 2008) or Money 2007 (which will expire 2 years after first installation or 1 September 2009, whichever is earlier). Of course, if you don't use any online services, you should be able to continue with these versions.

There is still no news on other products for other countries – I personally expect there never to be any now.

Money Plus online services are due to expire after 2 years or by September 1, 2011 – if you bought Plus last year, then there is likely to be some news in the spring about upgrade paths. Microsoft could release a new version or may extend the time. They possibly could introduce a subscription model, but that remains to be seen.

I've not posted on this site for a month as my job situation is now very unclear, and I may be about to lose it (I don't work for Microsoft, so if you think I am in any way connected to the team, I'm not). However, this will give me new challenges (just finding a new one will be enough of a challenge – I'm after a .NET team lead position). I'll still post here as appropriate when I hear news on the Microsoft & MSN Money fronts though.


Friday, August 22, 2008

MSN Money August Site Update

When: August 21, 2008


Updates include:
  • Processing new dividends and updating/backfilling missing dividend data for Mutual Funds
  • Showing Stock Gifts, Stock Award and Exercised Options on the Insider Trading page
  • Getting 52-week High/Low numbers for additional exchanges (primarily International)
  • A new News provider: Minyanville

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Full Microsoft Statement on Money 2009

A full statement from Microsoft has been released about the Annual Release Change and 100% Online distribution (out of the packaging business and physical retail store shelves)

You can find the full text on FAQ Article 562

This statement is relevant to the US product. Future releases (Money 2010?) are TBD.

Even now, we still haven't had any formal announcement about Money 2005 replacements for UK, France, International. However, I would guess that they won't be planning these either.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Microsoft announce no Money 2009

Microsoft PR gave the following response to a user enquiring about their copy of Money 2006 expiring:

While Microsoft Money Plus continues to be a valuable tool for consumers, the feedback we are hearing is that the incremental updates to the software don't merit a new product every year.

Given this, Microsoft has decided against releasing a 2009 version of Money Plus. Instead, Microsoft is focusing distribution efforts for Microsoft Money Plus software online via download and discontinuing traditional box sales of the software at retail.

All of the Money Plus products will be available for download on MSN Money, providing the same suite of tools and information, but no packaging means more convenience for the consumer and a greener choice for our environment.

This means if you have Money 2006 and it is expiring, then you'll need to purchase an online downloadable version of Money Plus to continue. You can get it through links such as:

  • Microsoft Money Plus Deluxe
  • Microsoft Money Plus Premium
  • Microsoft Money Plus Home & Business
These links are no longer valid

Friday, August 01, 2008

Disabling of Passport Support for Money 2002, 2003 and 2004

Money 2004, and earlier versions of Money use an earlier version of the Microsoft Passport Network that Money no longer supports as of July 31, 2008.

Note "Microsoft Passport Network" is an obsolete term, and the current term is "Windows Live ID." However, you will find references to Microsoft Passport Network in Money Help and in the Money user interface (UI).

Additionally, online service support for Money 2005 ended on November 30, 2007.

If you encounter errors, please see

Friday, July 11, 2008

MSN Money July Site update

When: Weekend of July 11

Some of the updates include:
  • Word wheel - When entering a symbol/name look up, MSN Money will provide suggestions to complete your search.
  • Retirement of the old Basic Portfolio - The new Portfolio Manager Essentials replaces this. Reference the Common questions about the MSN Money Portfolio Manager for more information
  • Data quality improvement - for example: restoring missing historical charting data for investments that may have had different symbols.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Retirement of Passport (Windows Live ID) sign in for Microsoft Money 2002 - 2004

Passport (Windows Live ID) sign in is to be retired for Microsoft Money 2002 - 2004 on July 31, 2008

This will have the effect that older versions of Money (2002-4) will no longer support adding or usage of Passport credentials on Money data files.

For more information see FAQ Article 557.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

MSN Money May Site update

The MSN Money website was updated yesterday.

The updates were very minor and caused little, if any downtime.

The most significant change was the replacement of the "Basic" Portfolio with an updated version (this has been available for preview for the past two months).

Retailers with Money in the UK

I've been out of the country a bit recently, as well as having had a short holiday in North Wales.

On my return, I was visiting relatives, and happened to go into a PC World store in Reading, Berkshire. Shops like this are not normally a place I visit, as I usually buy everything I want from Amazon, and other online retailers, but they are useful for me to browse in, especially if I am looking to buy something in the future and want to get a hands-on look.

I digress though.... what interested me was their software section. After parting myself from 97p for some scooby doo software (and a book) for my son (no idea why this software was so cheap..), and drooling over the 50" plasma screens, I walked around to see if Microsoft Money was on the shelf.

I found a couple of long shelves with 'Financial Software' above them - they were completely empty of all software (just one or two MYOB boxes (the business accounting software) at £199 hiding away at the bottom where it was difficult to see them).

If one of the larger retailers no longer appears to stock the software (didn't have time to find an assistant to check), then that doesn't really bode that well for Microsoft Money in the UK. It's still selling it on Amazon, but even there it appears to be only third party sellers.

Of course, the software is still useable, and even when the quotes are due to expire in December 2009 (the Microsoft link is no longer available), the software can still be used.

It's a pity that Intuit announced the termination of Quicken in the UK, but Microsoft have yet to confirm the suspicions that many people have.

I see a gap in the market which should be exploited by one of the minor players, such as Personal Accountz - if the two big players are gone, people struggling with debt and general tightening of people's finances, what a better time to try and get a product into retail channels.

My day job involves .NET development, but I don't have the time to write a program myself. Many years ago my father wrote one in FoxPro - but neither of us have the program or the code any more, which is a shame as I'd open-source it. I really wish I had the time to write a PFM which addressed the needs as I see them in the marketplace... I am seeking new employment at present, so I'll gladly talk to companies that write such software

Monday, April 28, 2008

PC Pro Campaign - Forum Posting of my thoughts

PC Pro's campaign for a new version of Money is gathering some pace, as they've received 400 emails from people wanting a new version. Although I'm doubtful this will change the minds of the Microsoft people who make these decisions, it is an interesting story to follow.

I decided to answer a couple of questions and put my thoughts together (you may not agree with them, that's fine ;-)). Here's what I posted to their forum:

When Quicken pulled out of the UK market 6 or 7 years ago, it seemed that the writing was on the wall for Microsoft Money over here. Little competition meant that Microsoft didn't need to do much to make the product succeed.

Since that time, some new competition has emerged (personal accountz for one), but this isn't big enough to worry Microsoft, and duly we see a lack of new product for 3.5 years

In the US, things are different, not only with competition (I believe Quicken is #1 there) but also with banks competing with each other. You see a product which is being developed for the US market - integration with banks being an area where banks feel they 'have' to be as all of their competitors are doing it. Money is following this over there, and is being driven for the desires of that audience and not ours.

This isn't to say there aren't new features: Since the last version in the UK (Money 2005, released in 2004), the product has had tighter integration with US account aggregation services (Yodlee/CashEdge), a new budget, better backup and the reintroduction of the toolbar tool (now known as 'Insights'). The latter 3 parts would be of benefit to the UK, but one would wonder how much?

I noticed one post above commenting about the Financial Insitutions - I doubt many of them really care that much about the data export - it's a direct cost to them and probably doesn't bring in any significant business. It may just be us current users who cause it to continue to be provided.

Of course there is code clean up so it's a lot less buggy than 2005 and doesn't have that annoying patch that is required when installing.

So, would they bring it to the UK? The longer time goes on, the more work is required to regionalise the functionality because of the new features. The more work, the more cost. Economically, they may be able to do it, but this might mean a download-only version, to reduce costs of artwork, printing etc. It might not win them many friends at some of the retail stores.

One thing to note that it is possible to get hold of the US version in the UK (see
FAQ Article 535), but you cannot directly convert from the UK to the US version (you have to go through hoops of exporting as QIF and then importing it). I doubt many people are prepared to do that, unless their files are small. The US product does work here (although the Nationwide integration would not) - I use this version.

I've been involved with the US and UK Money teams through the Microsoft MVP program for about 9 years now. In that time, I've seen 7 UK products come through. Each year I ask myself 'are there enough new or updated features that can justify upgrading?'. In many years, it's been a 'no'. Currently, based on the US SKU, it might once again be 'yes'.

For those of you wanting the history, see the latest article (April 25th) and the Open Letter to Microsoft.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Microsoft rebuffs PC Pro call for new Money

From PC Pro this week:
Microsoft has rejected PC Pro's calls for an updated version of Money in the UK,
despite huge reader backing for our campaign.

Microsoft has failed to release an update for the UK version of Money since 2005, despite the US receiving a new version only last year.

And the company has now restated its assertion that the four-year old software is perfectly suitable for customers' needs, even though all technical support for the product is set to end on 30 June.

In issue 164, PC Pro editor Tim Danton wrote an open letter to the software giant asking Microsoft to rectify this situation, and calling for readers who want to see a new version of the program to email in.

Click here for more information and the PC Pro campaign

Monday, March 31, 2008

Problems with repeated requests to update Money Plus

Over the last week, since the Money Plus SP1 update was released through smartconnect, there have been a small group of people whose computers will not properly update themselves with this patch.

Microsoft have been looking into this issue, and some ideas have been floated through newsgroups on how to solve this.

I've put together a couple of articles about this, which might help you get around the problem should it be happening to you. Unfortunately they're not all that straightforward...

  1. FAQ Article 547 - this is a collection of a number of suggested solutions
  2. FAQ Article 549 - a specific fix for CD installations only

If you're experiencing the problem, hopefully something in one of those articles will help you.

Friday, March 28, 2008

PC Pro reports on the ditching of support for UK Money 2005

ON the PC Pro website, there is an article about the ditching of support for Money 2005.

Microsoft has dropped support for Money 2005 and described it as "obsolete" - even though the company claims it's still good enough for UK users.
In our online banking feature in this month's PC Pro we described "Money as a little unloved at Microsoft" after the company failed to issue a new UK version in three years, despite a US release just last year.

Some points to raise regarding this article:
  • It is still possible to buy Money 2005 from
  • The product lifecycle (referenced in this article), puts the end of life for Money 2005 at 8 January 2008. This might be where the article is coming from as Microsoft probably use this date in the UK also. I blogged this back in January (End of Support for Money 2005).
  • Online services relating to download (see Article 306) originally expired on 1 September 2007. However, the MSN Money website showed a new date of 31 December 2009. The page is still active.
  • If all else looks lost, you can get hold of US versions in the UK by digital download (see this article).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Money Plus SP1 Released

Money Plus SP1 was released via smartconnect, on March 24, 2008. This update contains the following fixes:

  • Resolves a conflict with the DEP setting in Windows Vista and in some versions of Windows XP. This conflict caused Money Plus to crash (FAQ Article 512).
  • Money Plus Activation now accepts all characters if Windows is set to use Large Fonts (FAQ Article 533).
  • Activation improvements for firewall and proxy configurations are included.
  • Activation improvements for non-administrator configurations are included.
  • Performance is improved when you work with Money Plus data files that contain many "unaccepted transactions."
  • Other fixes to improve compatibility with Windows Vista are included.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Preview of Ultrasoft Money 1.0.2 for Windows Mobile

Posted onto the Ultrasoft Newsgroup/Forum:

A preview copy of Ultrasoft Money 1.0.2 for Windows Mobile is available here:

It includes the following: -

- Added support for non-English characters.
- Enabled access to Ultrasoft Money settings from ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center.
- Worked around the 0x8007000e error with 'Windows Vista and Microsoft Money 2002, 2003 and 2004.' (
- Attempts to eliminate the "unresolved items" error sometimes displayed by ActiveSync. (Click here) for more information.

Only the issues listed above are addressed in this update.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

UK Money site now offline

This probably happened a while back ;-) but the UK Money site1 is no longer functioning. This site used to contain information about the UK product, but hasn't really been updated since Money 2005 was released back in 2004.

The MSN Money site also no longer lists the product directly from its homepage, although by digging around, you can still find the old pages referenced (the welcome page can be found here).
It is possible that Microsoft are decommissioning these pages - which could mean that 2005 is the last version for the UK (given the lack of anything in recent years, then this is a possibility - although I don't know!).

Assuming this is the case, I have made a safe copy of the Financial Institutions page, which may be handy at some stage for my main website.

So, what do you do if you want to upgrade to a US version (it's not straightforward)? You'll need to try out the US version (trial page) and worry about file conversion (QIF Export/Import) and then get hold of the real US version through digital download.

1 Previously

Saturday, February 23, 2008

MSN Money February Site Update

When: February 25, 2008

The MSN Money February site update includes the following:

  • No longer downloading Pending transactions (as of Feb 20).
  • A chance to Preview of the upcoming replacement for the Basic Portfolio
  • Switching to using EdgarOnline for SEC filings reports
  • Some general performance and data quality improvements

Reference the What's new page for additional information after the site has updated.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Money Plus Essentials in Canada

The 'Essentials' version of Money is now available in Canada. This is the 'online-only' version which is quite basic.

Money Essentials is for new Money customers only as it will not be able to open other Money product files or Quicken Files, so it is of limited use to people using previous versions.

So unless you really want the essentials version (If you want to download your data and start afresh), I'd recommend going for a more featured version such as Premium or Deluxe.

If you want to get hold of Money Plus outside the US, see my previous posting. (that post doesn't include a link to Microsoft Money Essentials)

The microsoft site prices Essentials at approximately $19.99 Canadian Dollars

Monday, February 04, 2008

Obtaining Money Plus outside the US or Japan

I've been a little busy recently, and so my posting to the newsgroups, web site and this blog has been, well, a bit intermittent. I can't promise this will include in the short/medium term.

With the continuing lack of information on UK, Canadian, French and other versions of Microsoft Money, it's becoming increasingly more likely that these markets are no longer being targetted by Microsoft. We'll need to see over the next months whether that is again the case for a 2009 (Plus+ or whatever name they use) product.

In the meantime, some people are trying out the Plus product by downloading the trial. Unfortunately this presents a problem when they come to purchase the product from outside the US. Places such as do not ship the software outside of the US.

To get around this restriction, you can use a digital download instead. The 'trick' is to use a 'fake' US address. Obviously you need to avoid the purchase of a CD media here.

You can obtain the various versions of Money through digital download through one of the following links:

  • Microsoft Money Plus Deluxe
  • Microsoft Money Plus Premium
  • Microsoft Money Plus Home & Business
These links are no longer valid

Update: 5 February - you can't directly update a non-US money file (e.g. UK, France) directly into Money Plus (except possibly the Canadian one).

I've not gone through the process above, so would be happy to hear experiences.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

End of Support for Money 2005

According to the support lifecycle for Money 2005 (see this page), support ended for Money 2005 yesterday, January 8 2008.

It isn't clear from the lifecycle whether this is all regions, but I would expect so.

Note that quote downloads for Money 2005 for UK users should continue until December 31 2009, as stated on the Money UK Pages

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Passport/Windows Live problem for money 2002 - 2004 fixed

The problem affecting online login for passport/windows live users (as reported here) should now be fixed.

For most people, there shouldn't be any action required and the sign-in will just work. For others, try the following:
  • Try signing in offline (using the last password that worked)
  • Try changing the Sign in to the same Passport (Windows Live ID) credentials
  • Try removing the Passport/Windows Live ID and then re-add it

It might be worth removing cookies if you experience problems.