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Microsoft To Sell Money Plus Online Only

Microsoft will continue integration of Money Plus with the MSN Money online service, which provides stock information and access to financial experts, as well as tips.
Microsoft has decided not to release a 2009 version of its personal finance application Money Plus and would release future versions only on the Web.

Microsoft Money VP Bob Peel said in a company blog this week that feedback from customers indicated that incremental updates didn't merit a new product every year.

"We are moving off of an annual release cycle for Microsoft Money Plus (no Money 2009 version in the fall), with future release dates TBD [to be determined]," Peel said.

After selling the product for 17 years in retailers, Microsoft said it was also moving to "100% online distribution."

"In response to our retail partners' needs, consumer behavior and business efficiencies, Microsoft is focusing distribution efforts for Microsoft Money Plus software online via download and discontinuing traditional box sales of the software at retail," Peel said.

Current versions of the software would continue to be available in retailers while supplies last, but the company has stopped shipping new product to stores.

Microsoft planned to continue integration of Money Plus with the MSN Money online service, which provides stock information, access to financial experts, as well as tips and financial guidance.

The latest move was not a sign that Microsoft was getting out of the packaged PC consumer software business overall. "Microsoft does not see shrink-wrapped software going away anytime soon and we are always talking to customers about different ways to price and package our software offerings," Peel said.

Peel said retailers supported the move. "This move means that our retailers can provide more inventory of our products, but require less physical space to manage inventory," Peel said.

Microsoft has long competed with Intuit, which makes the popular QuickBooks financial software and the TurboTax product for filing state and federal income taxes. Intuit offers online versions of both products.