Here is a message by Denis Beauregard on the soc.genealogy.computing Newsgroup. Rather interesting and if not a pre-Aprils fools joke sure makes one wonder what will happen to the computer world of genealogy:
QUOTE: A few years ago, I was interviewed by a journalist who was building his fanzine.Z-Mag was an aperiodal magazine on the Net, and in what was the first issue, there was an article called Beauregard, cyber-patriote (a reminder of my political activism in the Net!).
That reporter has stopped this magazine for a good reason: he started a new TV show, Branche (Wired) on the CBC French network, the oldest cyber-show on our local TV and probably the best budget available.For that purpose, he visited recently Microsoft and, when we met last week on IRC, he told me about some information that will be of interest for all of us.He also said I can talk about that.It will be made public in the next few days.
Microsoft extends its empire thru genealogy.It purchased genealogy.com.No, it is not only the domain.It is the largest US company of genealogy software, the last in a series of many purchases.
Banner Blue is the publisher of Family Tree Maker in 1989.Broderbund Software (a games software publisher) bought Banner Blue in 1995, then Parsons in 1997 (Family Origins) (seller: Intuit). The Learning Company (TLC) got Broderbund in 1998 and Mattel purchased TLC in 1999
In the meanwhile, Commsoft created a few genealogy softwares like Roots89 (in 1981, sic), Roots III and Roots IV.In 1996, it was associated to Palladium to co-produce Family Gatherings.Then, in 1997, it sold its software to Palladium whicn published Ultimate Family Tree (UFT).In 1998, TLC bought Palladium.
The punch of the story is that MS is always marketing for non-US markets, unlike FTM or UFT.In other words, while FTM, UFT or FO never had a true French (or German, Italian, etc.) version, there will be now such a version !!!
In that context, MS is to present a large scale project to purchase databases from European genealogical societies.This would include SWIC, a French company selling data on the French minitel.This one is a nationwide pay per minute phone service with a computer terminal.This technology would be the basis of a new Internet network (MS-Internet) billed on a pay per minute basis, like Minitel is).
I got an overview of new products from MS.FTM 9 (BB will produce FTM 8) will be based on the Word technology.For instances, multi-window editing and TreeBasic language. Multi-window means both the ability to open many windows for the same database and to drag and drop data between 2 families, like you move a paragraph in Word).TreeBasic is a language to create user defined reports.
Next year, genealogy on computer will no more be the same...