When Being Proprietary Makes You Do Stupid Things

Recently Microsoft screwed themselves over.  We have MS Money 2006 from back when I was still getting into Linux and hadn’t convinced my wife completely about how much better it was than Windows.  Recently we switched to back to a credit card where we previously used to download the transactions from within MS Money.  When my wife went to do this, she was informed that MS Money only allows you to do this for two years.  After that if you want to keep doing it you have to buy another copy of Money.  So when she found this out, did she buy a new copy of MS Money?  NO!  She was extremely pissed that this important feature would expire.  So she want to MoneyDance.

This lock-in behavior is the stupidity that comes with proprietary software.  They need to find a way to keep you paying for the program over and over again.  So they make features expire and other dirty tricks.  Like changing files to make them incompatible (a la MS Office OOXML).  The problem is that they lose any goodwill they previously had with the customer.  My wife didn’t want to buy the next version of Money because of how mad she was.  In this day and age with open source, libre software, and indie programming companies, people don’t have to stand for this type of lock-in.  In fact, it was Quicken’s similar behaviour that first inspired the guy who programs MoneyDance to work on it.

6 responses to “When Being Proprietary Makes You Do Stupid Things”

  1. I wonder how many people still let themselves be led by the nose like this.

  2. This happened to me a while back with American Express. I closed my account out and went to Linux and never looked back. I used KMyMoney and tried GnuCash. Works for me.

    So Long, MS…….

  3. I’ve followed the link to Moneydance you suggested and your wife preferred to “escape” from M$money.
    Seems to me that is not Free (as in freedom) software, so?
    Changing master does not transform you in a Free men.
    Am I missing something?

  4. You are correct. In this specific case, MoneyDance is not libre software. All I know is that he originally made it libre software so he understands the evils some makers proprietary software peddle in. Unfortunately, he took it proprietary, but he promised that if he ever decides to no longer work on it that he will make it libre software again.