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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Financial Security through Money Management

The jig is up for Microsoft Money (in Canada):

It seems that Microsoft, in it's infinite wisdom, has dropped abandon, it's Microsoft Money users completely.

Not only has MSFT decided to limit availability of the Money product line in Canada to it's own web site, but also only to the most minimalist version of the product Microsoft Money essentials ($19.99). If you are movinf to a new computer this year and are hoping to manage your money, let's hope you remember where your Microsoft Money 2006 CD is and ir wasn't the OEM version from your last PC.

Now, you can come up with the occassional deal on eBay, but right now the 2006 version will start bidding at $10 (CDN), the latest version can be found too, Microsoft Money Plus Deluxe and will auction it's way, alarmingly, to $40.00 (CDN) but then you have shipping. It seems that these purchasers truly need Microsoft Money to realize they are mis-managing thier money.

I tried Microsoft Money Essentials - trial version, installed it last night and tried to import the MNY file I'd used on my desktop PC. This is where that message (above) came from. What a disappointment! this is the only version available in Canada, if you were in the U.S. the "Plus Deluxe" and the other more advanced versions would allow this. What a shame.

I am lucky, I'd bought Money 2006 years ago, then upgraded my PC and found myself on the OEM version, the problem was tracking down that CD nearly 3 years later. This is why I was on eBay, I thought is was gone for sure. It wasn't it was were everythinh you're looking for is, in the last place you look!

So, it is now installed on my new NetBook (Acer Aspire One) with its 1024x600 display. It works fine, but watch for those missing buttons at the bottom when running full-screen, they actually show up better when you're running in a less-than maximized window. The product spec likely assumes 1024x768, this is not shocking, I'm sure in 2006 no one thought netbooks would take over the world the way they have. For prolonged use I suggest a full-sized USB keyboard and a real mouse/trackball, The screen is fine, but you will certainly be happier with a 22" LCD attached at your primary "base" location. I recommend Acer LCDs, through there are many others. If you're looking to spoil yourself, consider the Acer 24" LCD display, they've dropped below $400 if you look around, get the extended warranty and make sure that who you buy from will accept a return based upon dead-pixels. It's not that I've had a dead pixel on any Acers (knocking on wood), but you need to consider this issue. I also recommend TigerDirect.ca and BestBuy.ca when looking for the right products at the right prices. Patience is absolutely necessary when you're trying to get a value. Tiger did right for me on my 32" LCD TV and my Acer NetBook, check online, then call before venturing out. They'll hold it for you. With BestBuy.ca, they normally have the ability to state the stock levels at the store, this vanishes during the Christmas rush, don't complain, it makes sense.

BTW: This makes the obvious choice of money management software: Quicken, Intuit.ca
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