Breakthrough Money 98 Financial Suite Entices Quicken Users

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 15, 1997 — In an independent research study conducted by Burke Marketing Research, half of current Quicken users say they would select Microsoft® Money 98 Financial Suite over Quicken Deluxe 98 the next time they acquire financial software. Burke Marketing Research conducted the head-to-head comparison among 202 Quicken users in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, New York and Phoenix in late October and early November.

The results of the head-to-head comparison between Money 98 Financial Suite and Quicken Deluxe 98 are important because they reflect a growing consumer preference for Money 98 Financial Suite’s breakthrough product over Quicken, which historically has been the leader in the personal financial management software category. Results of the study conclude that 54 percent of current Quicken users would switch to Money 98 Financial Suite.

“We are pleased consumers are recognizing the broad range of financial tasks that Money 98 Financial Suite can help address, ranging from day-to-day management to long-term investment and financial planning,” said Lewis Levin, vice president of the desktop finance division at Microsoft. “The results of this study illustrate the solid edge we are gaining with customers who use personal financial management software.”

Users Chose Money 98 Financial Suite

Participants in the Burke Marketing Research study were asked to complete a similar series of five tasks using each of the software programs, including completing a software tour, paying bills and checking account balances, planning for a financial event (college), checking a financial summary, and checking on an investment.

“Money 98 Financial Suite and Quicken Deluxe 98 ranked equally on three of the tasks, while Money 98 Financial Suite significantly surpassed the competition on two tasks – checking account balances and checking a financial summary,” said Michael Kuhn, senior vice president at Burke Marketing Research. “Although both programs received high marks for being easy to use within the software tour, Quicken’s score on this measure was significantly higher. Not a surprising finding, though, since these current Quicken users are more familiar with their product.”

Results of the independent study indicate that 54 percent of current Quicken users surveyed would acquire Money 98 Financial Suite if they were to get personal financial software in the future. In addition, 51 percent of current Quicken users prefer Money 98 Financial Suite and 62 percent believe it is a better value.

“I love Money 98, so I just went out and got it,” said Debbie Grodsky, CPA, Chicago.

Money 98’s new Web-enhanced interface and various financial planning features, such as Goal Planner, Advisor FYI
personalized financial guidance and customizable reporting features appealed to Quicken users. Participants also noted Money 98 Financial Suite’s Converter Wizard for Quicken*, which makes the transition from Quicken to Money easy.

“Although Quicken has many powerful features, I found Microsoft Money 98 is a very powerful and comprehensive financial suite,” said Angelo Roxbury, a Quicken user from the Atlanta area. “It is very user-friendly and presents information in a format that can be easily understood.”

Objective Research Tool

Burke Marketing Research selected the participants based on a random sample of current Quicken users in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, New York and Phoenix. The telephone numbers of potential participants were not preselected based on any special characteristics nor were the participants forewarned about the call. The pool of participants was limited to those living within an hour’s drive of the test facility, but each phone number within that area had an equal chance to be selected. While Microsoft funded the independent market research study, it did not participate in the selection or interviewing of study participants, and neither participants nor interviewers were aware of the sponsor. With a margin of error for the study of +/- 7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level, a 90 percent chance exists that the true percentage of current Quicken users in the population who would switch to Microsoft Money 98 Financial Suite is at least 50 percent.

Money 98 Momentum

The Burke Marketing Research study results confirm Money 98 Financial Suite’s successes in the personal financial management software category. Microsoft’s complete, integrated solution to personal finance has gained critical acclaim from product reviewers and is the fastest-growing personal finance management product on the market, nearly doubling its customer base in 1997 – a feat similarly accomplished in 1996. In addition, Microsoft has introduced a version of Money 98 Financial Suite for customers in Canada.

About Burke Marketing Research

Burke Marketing Research provides full-service custom marketing research and consulting for consumer and business-to-business product and service companies to help them understand marketplace dynamics. Proven research services include product testing, brand equity, pricing, market segmentation and strategic research. Burke Marketing Research clients include The Procter & Gamble Co., Hewlett-Packard Co. and AT & T.

About Microsoft

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 and Advisor FYI are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

* The Converter Wizard for Quicken feature in the U.S. version of Money 98 will convert files from Quicken’s U.S. versions 4, 5 and 6.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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