Each year I take December off. Each year without fail Ancestry.com or FamilySearch makes a major announcement that needs to be covered. It’s like clockwork. I wonder if they do this because of the seasonal drop off in site usage?
Ancestry is discontinuing sales of its popular Family Tree Maker desktop tree management software. Ancestry will discontinue sales at the end of the month (31 December 2015). It will continue to support the software for one year (31 December 2016). That includes the ability to synch your New Ancestry online tree with your Family Tree Maker offline tree. “You will be able to use the software, exactly as you do now, including TreeSync, for at least the next year,” said Ancestry’s Kendall Hulet. Family Tree Maker will continue to function to some degree past that date.
Ancestry is exploring the possibility of letting other desktop tree software integrate with Ancestry.com Member Trees. This has been a major strength that FamilySearch has had over Ancestry. Ancestry is not looking to sell off Family Tree Maker to another company. They are just letting it die. They are looking at adding report functionality to Member Trees. Users will lose substantial report capability with Ancestry’s abandonment of Family Tree Maker.
The timing of the announcement is interesting. The days leading up to Christmas have the lowest usage rate of online genealogy websites. And the announcement was made just days before the shutdown of the Old Ancestry online tree user interface. (That happens tomorrow, by the way.)
Why should you care that Family Tree Maker is going away? How is that bad news? Why did I immediately go out to procure a copy? What do I think about the New Ancestry online tree interface? I’ll try to answer these questions and more in January when I return from my hiatus.
In the meantime, for more information:
- See “Ancestry to Retire Family Tree Maker Software” on the Ancestry Blog for the initial announcement.
- See “More Information on Family Tree Maker Desktop Software” on the Ancestry Blog for a follow up.
- See “FTM Users: Join MyHeritage and get Family Tree Builder with an Unlimited Size Family Site for Free” on the MyHeritage Blog for a special offer for Family Tree Maker owners looking for an alternative.
- See the Family Tree Maker website to order a copy and to see Ancestry’s claim that Family Tree Maker is “the #1-selling family history software.”