I just received this announcement from Ancestry.com, and it’s posted on their blog (just in time for RootsTech): “New Family Tree Maker Options.”
These are the two new options Ancestry is offering:
- Sell Family Tree Maker (both Windows and Mac versions) to Software MacKiev, the current developer of the Mac version, and allow it to continue to connect to Ancestry.com, to include TreeSync. This sounds like an old option to me. I don’t know why Ancestry didn’t sell FTM to begin with.
- Partner with RootsMagic to connect with Ancestry.com, to include TreeSync. This was hinted at in a previous blog post from Ancestry.
Now the questions for users are:
- Should they stay with FTM or go with an application such as RootsMagic?
- Will Ancestry.com partner with any other applications in addition to RootsMagic? There’s nothing in the announcement to indicate that Ancestry’s relationship with RootsMagic is exclusive. Update: RootsMagic has posted an announcement that implies some exclusivity, yet leaves the door open for other applications: “Sync – RootsMagic will be the only software besides FTM to let you share data between your RootsMagic files on your computer with your personal Ancestry online trees” (italics added). Naturally RootsMagic would share data with its own files, but does that mean do other apps will have access to Ancestry.com?
Has the “Replacing Family Tree Maker Series” been overtaken by events? I don’t think so. Some users will be content to stay with FTM, but given the uncertainty the past few months, many users will want to switch to RootsMagic or something else. To help you answer the first question above, I’ve already reviewed how will RootsMagic imports and exports GEDCOM files. In the near future, I’ll review the features that set RootsMagic apart from other applications. I also plan to continue to review the other dozen or so major desktop genealogy applications. So if you haven’t already done so, fill in the “Get Email Updates” boxes to your right to be notified of new or updated reviews.
Please tell us in the Comments what Ancestry’s announcement means to you.