Goodbye, MS Money. We hardly knew ye.
Microsoft made the decision because "banks, brokerage firms, and websites now providing a range of options for managing personal finances," according to its statement. It's certainly true that Web banking has proliferated in recent years. I've done nearly all of my banking online since 1997, primarily because Bank of America
This could most definitely be a boost for Intuit, because it's the only other option for computerized checkbook-balancing and budget-tracking in many a consumer's mind. But don't forget that lesser lights can do a lot of the same work, too. For personal e-banking, the Quicken alternatives include Web-based money portals like Mint.com and Moneydance, as well as open-source packages like GnuCash and KMyMoney. If you use MS Money just to connect and organize all of your online accounts, any of these will do the trick. And in many cases, your bank's website will do it too, whether you're using Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase
Microsoft will push its own all-online MSN Money service as a replacement for the departed software. And of course, Microsoft isn't giving up on business customers -- at least not yet. In that market, Office Accounting and other business-oriented solutions will continue to go head-to-head with not only Intuit's QuickBooks, but also with similar platforms from Oracle
It's the end of one era, and the start of another. If you're not banking online already, you had best get used to the idea now.
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Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.