Yesterday evening the Genealogy Community almost exploded with the sudden news that Ancestry FamilyTreeMaker (FTM) is being discontinued. Part of the blog post and email sent out by Ancestry stated
....we’ve taken a hard look at the declining desktop software market and the
impact this has on being able to continue to provide product
enhancements and support that our users
need. With that, we’ve made the tough decision to stop selling Family
Tree Maker as of December 31, 2015.
And it began - owners of FTM, furious at the news, began screaming on Social Media sites. One of the top complaints I spotted was "It's the busiest time of year! How can I get my media files and online tree saved to my computer before the end of December!!!"
Those FTM owners who continued reading the announcement would have seen this bit
"Ancestry will continue to support current owners of Family Tree Maker through January 1, 2017.
During this time, all features of the software, including TreeSync™,
will continue to work, and
Member Services will be available to assist with user questions. We
will also address major software bugs that may occur, as well as
In other words, those affected by this decision have an entire year to do whatever they need to do.
I happen to be a long-time user of FTM (over 18 years! Check out my personal collection of FTM versions in the graphic above) but the sync feature is not that important to me. I like the Ancestry hints that pop up when I view the Pedigree of an individual but I can get the same results by searching on the Ancestry website.
I hope folks understand that the software program itself will continue to work until you upgrade your operating system to something that doesn't recognize the program! So we all have time to find a new program and start learning how to use it.
There are many alternate software programs available for family trees. If you are a windows user you have Legacy Family Tree , RootsMagic (with a special $20.00 offer for FTM users) and many others.
Mac users (like me) have fewer options. RootsMagic has a special time-limited offer on their software. If you are an FTM user wanting to switch you can get the full RootsMagic version for $20.00
I decided to buy RootsMagic for Mac but I was confused by the page for the FTM users to switch. It seemed to only be for those wanting to buy RootsMagic for Windows. So I reached out to Bruce Buzbee, CEO of RootsMagic and here is his response
"The CD version includes the download also. It is shipped because it includes the printed book"
After learning that, I ordered the RootsMagic software this morning. I'm not going to set it up until after the New Year and then I'll get started. Who knows, maybe I will like it better than FTM!