Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Microsoft to stop boxed sales of Money

Although it has been offering its financial suite in a downloadable version for quite some time, beginning with the 2009 version of Money Plus, it will no longer be sold through retail channels.

Microsoft pointed to the fact that last year's sales of its Money personal finance software outpaced in-store sales for the first time in the products history, and more than 50 percent of sales of Money now come from online downloads.

Product manager Chris Jolley said that the "time feels right" for such a shift, and that new efficiencies would be realized across all fronts. Shifting to an all-download model is better for the environment, he added. He also noted the changing attitudes of consumers.

"Today's consumers want instant gratification, and last year's sales percentages show that the immediacy of the download appeals to a large number of customers," he said.

He also pointed out that Microsoft's computer sales partners have asked for flexibility in distribution. "Online distribution means they can provide more inventory of our products, but require less physical space to manage inventory," Jolley explained.

Microsoft is one of the first to take a major application to be sold completely online -- typically such strategies are used by smaller companies who have less capital to spend on packaging and distribution.

So far, most major software developers that utilize an online distribution channel, also sell through typical retail channels. Examples include the tax preparation services offered by both Intuit and H&R Block, TurboTax, and TaxCut, respectively.

  • AOL talks with Microsoft, Yahoo heat up: source
  • Windows XP will be sold to some OEMs after all, says Microsoft
  • Novell credits Microsoft, SAP, and HP for Linux sales leap