Ancestry intends to drop its Family Tree Maker software program.
Oh dear! How to upset your customers! Ancestry has just sent out the following announcement:
“Dear Family Tree Maker™ community,
“Ancestry is proud to have made a significant investment this year to bring valuable new content and records to the Ancestry site. In 2015, we’ve made 220 million searchable historical records from Mexico available, more than 170 million pages from the largest collection of U.S. will and probate records, among others. We’ve also introduced new features such as Ancestry Academy, and major advancements for AncestryDNA.
“As we strive to provide our customers with the best experience possible, we are constantly evaluating our services and product offerings. True to this focus, we’ve taken a hard look at the declining desktop software market and the impact this has on being able to continue to provide new content, 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.
“We will continue to support existing Family Tree Maker owners at least through January 1, 2017. During this time, all features of the software, including TreeSync™ will continue to work. Our Member Services team will also remain available to assist with questions or issues you may have.
“These changes are never easy. But by focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on continuing to build great products for our loyal Ancestry community.
“You can find additional details about the retirement of Family Tree Maker on our blog.”
People are not happy about this! The comments on the blog (more than 7,000 of them so far) make the points that:
- Ancestry’s online family tree software doesn’t have all the functions of the stand-alone Family Tree Maker program;
- The users don’t want to put all their family tree information on to Ancestry’s website without having a copy on their own computer;
- They don’t all have good Internet access;
- They’re taking the opportunity to criticise changes that Ancestry has made to its website and to the display of family trees on it;
- They’ve paid good money for the Family Tree Maker software!
The commenters want the Ancestry bosses to change their minds about ‘retiring’ Family Tree Maker, with many users threatening not to renew their subscriptions.
Some are calling for Ancestry to at least enable subscribers to synchronise their online trees with other family tree programs, as they can at present with Family Tree Maker.
Ancestry have certainly got a lot of unhappy customers now!