REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 30, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced Microsoft® Money 97, the personal finance software that makes it easier for home computer users to manage their money. This new version allows users to pay their bills faster, balance their accounts more easily, keep better track of their financial information, and quickly answer critical questions about their financial health. In addition, Money 97 includes, for the first time, the Converter Wizard for Quicken that seamlessly converts Quicken data into Money. Now everyone, even Quicken users, can manage key financial tasks more easily and productively.
Access to More Financial Institutions and Bill-Payment Services
Microsoft Money 97 will provide users with access to online banking and bill-payment services through more than 58 major banks and financial institutions, including American Express and Fidelity Investments. Today, financial institutions have a choice of ways in which they deliver online banking services – through the Internet or through providers such as Visa, CheckFree and ISC. As a result, more users will be able to connect to their banks online by using Money 97.
In addition, users whose financial institutions do not yet offer online banking can still take advantage of the reliable bill-payment services integrated into Microsoft Money 97. These services include Visa ePay and CheckFree, which take the hassle out of writing and mailing checks by allowing users to pay bills electronically. Most transactions cost less than the price of a stamp and offer the ability to preset recurring or automatic payments (e.g., mortgages and loans). A fully integrated payment calendar shows users the best time to pay bills to avoid overdraft charges and gives helpful payment reminders to ensure a payment is never missed – even when the Microsoft Money program is closed.
Growth in Home Banking
According to Lewis Levin, vice president of the desktop finance division at Microsoft,
“The explosive growth in sales of home PCs and modems makes this the right time for users to take advantage of the convenience of online services. People have been banking online for years through ATMs, and they are now embracing having access to those same services and more in the comfort of their own home.”
Other new home banking features in Microsoft Money 97 include simplified online setup, so users can get started faster and more easily. Users simply type in the routing number from the bottom of their check or the first six digits of their credit card, and Money automatically configures itself to take advantage of the online services offered by their bank or online bill-payment provider. The new Home Banking area in Money makes performing online banking tasks incredibly easy, as well as enabling users to access their accounts at each of their financial institutions for a more complete financial picture. Users now also have single-click access to their financial institutions’ Web sites from within the Home Banking area. The secure online banking features in Microsoft Money 97 allow immediate, 24-hour access to checking, savings and credit-card information, through the computer. Customers can download statements automatically; maintain up-to-date account balances; transfer funds; check the status of a bill, deposit or check; and communicate with their banks by e-mail.
New Internet Services Available
Microsoft Money 97 users with Internet connections now have access to additional online features to help manage their financial tasks. Users can point and click to access the Money World Wide Web site, the MoneyZone, for a wealth of news, product information, tips and tricks, product support and more. In addition, Money 97 users can automatically update their investment portfolio using free Internet Quotes. The 15-minute-delayed quotes are provided via Microsoft’s Investor Portfolio.
Greater Ease of Use and Improved Automation of Tasks
As with all Microsoft products, ease of use remains an important component. IntelliSense
technology features in Money 97 help streamline routine and repetitive tasks and keep data entry to a minimum. A variety of wizards assist the user in performing or automating tasks. They include the PayCheck Wizard, which automates managing and tracking paycheck deductions, including 401(k) and tax contributions, and Payment Wizards, which help users manage loan and credit-card payments.
Quicken Users Switching to Money
An unprecedented number of Quicken users have already made the move to Microsoft Money for the Windows® 95 operating system. A key new feature in Money 97 is the Converter Wizard for Quicken, which quickly, seamlessly and safely converts data from Quicken to Money in moments. Guided Tours and tailored Quicken Help quickly help users make the transition.
“I have been using computers since 1983, and I think Microsoft Money is one of the best programs written so far,”
said Joe Giorgianni, a Quicken switcher.
“I especially like the online banking components. To be quite honest, I don’t know why anyone would even use Quicken anymore.”
Pricing and Availability
Microsoft Money 97 is now available at stores nationwide for approximately $34.95 (U.S.) ($44.95 Canadian). There is a $10 rebate for current Money and Quicken users. Localized versions of Money 97 will be available in British English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. For a limited time, customers can download a trial version of Microsoft Money 97 free from http://www.microsoft.com/moneyzone/ (online connections fees may apply).
Note: Microsoft Money users acquiring bill payment and online banking from a participating bank will incur additional monthly or transaction charges set by the bank. Users who want to take advantage of online bill paying but who are not members of a participating bank can acquire the bill-paying services from Visa ePay or CheckFree for a monthly fee.
To use Microsoft Money 97, users need a personal computer with a 386DX or higher microprocessor (486/50 or higher recommended); Microsoft Windows 95 or the Windows NT® Workstation operating system version 3.51 or later (online services require a telephony API and will not work with Windows NT 3.51, but will run on Windows NT 4.0); a CD-ROM drive or 3.5-inch high-density disk drive; 8 MB of memory for Windows 95 or 12 MB of memory for Windows NT Workstation; 11 MB of available hard disk space; a VGA or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor (Super VGA, 256-color recommended); a Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device; and a 2400 bps or higher modem (14,400 bps recommended) to use online services and access the Microsoft MoneyZone.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
Microsoft, IntelliSense, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
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