Microsoft to discontinue Money

Lagging demand and a need to cut costs may have driven the move

Microsoft plans to stop selling Money, its financial management software, at the end of the month.

Microsoft Money products will no longer be available for purchase after June 30, the company said. Existing customers will be able to continue using the product and accessing online services per their user agreements.

In a statement, the company said that the decision was part of its "ongoing on-line portfolio analysis and investment to focus on our top on-line priorities."

On the Money Web site, it hinted that demand has decreased. "With banks, brokerage firms and Web sites now providing a range of options for managing personal finances, the consumer need for Microsoft Money Plus has changed," the site reads.

"I'd guess that the Money cancellation is a straight cost-saving measure," said Matt Rosoff, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft. The company has already cut Encarta and Digital Image Suite, other consumer software products from the same division, he noted. "And Microsoft has never had much luck competing with Intuit, either for small businesses or consumers."

Intuit develops software including Quicken and TurboTax to help small businesses and individuals manage their finances.

In a recent report, Rosoff wrote that since October Microsoft has stopped selling or scaled back development on at least 12 products. Some of those cancellations are likely due to cost-cutting efforts, but others were probably already planned, he said.

Cnet first reported on the decision to close Money earlier on Wednesday, apparently before Microsoft posted the notice on the Money Web site.

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