This unofficial FAQ sucks it up and upgr^h^h^h^hchanges to Money 2007
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After my brief encounter with Money 2005 and some initial work with Money 2006, I decided not to migrate my production system to M06. Microsoft released Money 2007 in July of 2006 and, after a brief trial--and a lot of work on the data file, more of which will be discussed below--I am on the verge of deciding to change from M04 to M07.

Let me explain why, so my loyal readers will not think I am caving in easily or have changed my position on the changes made to Money with M05.

For reasons I'm at a loss to explain, I continued my initial parallel trial of M06 for the remainder of the M06 life span. M06 continued to prove itself slow and unstable. But I did gain a degree of immunity to the overburdened UI and all the extra ads. I suppose that was one of the reasons I continued the parallel trial. The other reason I can think of--besides a large measure of masochism--is that having a backup on a different machine in a different version provided a diverse form of backup.

My initial trial of M07 has been almost entirely negative--with one exception, about which more later. The only significant functional change they added is the new "Savings & Spending" (or "Simple & Simian"?) budget. Nothing to get excited about there. They also put in new breakages, to things that have been feature stable for years, like entering scheduled loan payments, the Net Worth report, and a host of new problems in the Advanced Budget. Diligent groups.googling of the newsgroup will reveal more on these issues.

They did add one potentially redeeming new capability: the Nuke-the-Bills repair tool. This tool removes everything you can see of your scheduled bills and, apparently, for some users, a whole lot more. If you are one of these users, you may find that M07, after using this tool and recovering from having done so, provides greatly improved performance, significantly smaller file size, and, at least this has been my case, improved stability. Doing this was a significant undertaking. I spent six hours or so taking my M04 file, upgrading it, cleaning up after that, repairing the file for good measure, "nuking the bills," putting them back, and cleaning up after that. (I have a lot of scheduled bills with lots of memos and splits.) My results from all of this effort:

Only Microsoft appreciates why they can't just maintain their database better on-the-fly so that they don't need this kind of destructive repair method to fix data they put there in the first place. This is especially ironic when the repair provides such potentially spectacular results in an area that has been a source of customer discontent. (For more information on technique, issues and unknowns associated with Nuke-the-Bills, please see the associated FAQ answer before you try it.)

(There was also some speculation that a change in the archiving logic to remove unused payees might have similar benefits. The basic approach is to archive for an archive date that is so far back it cannot result in removing any transactions. I saw no benefit whatsoever from doing that.)

As of this writing, I am still doing parallel M04/M07 data entry and have not committed to M07. Although I am thrilled with the improvement in performance and much more comfortable about its stability with my data file, that's not enough. Before I abandon M04, I want to get some more time on M07, lookout a while longer for other issues reported in the newsgroup, and would really like to get some hint of feedback on possible fixes to the annoying "features" like the broken scheduled bill entry. (Sadly, the initial feedback in the newsgroup, from someone who opened a Support case on the problem, was that Money Support essentially said it's supposed to be broken and users should think it's a good thing they broke it for us.) But my M04 quotes downloads are about to expire and there are some other reasons not to run a "legacy" release. It's looking like this will be the first year year I've changed to a new Money version since 2003. "Upgraded" seems too strong.

For what it's worth, Money has been on a three year cycle with major revamps in M02 and M05 and minor "turd polishing" in M03/4 and M06/7. This history could indicate that M08 will be another major revamp version. Maybe this time we will get something besides another dumb-down. Time will tell…

Dick Watson, maintainer of this unofficial microsoft.public.money FAQ

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Last update: 9 January 2007

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