Status Updates for Family Tree Maker

One of the common misconceptions is that “no news is bad news.” That is not always true. In some cases, perhaps you simply haven’t heard the latest news.

In this case, the news concerns Software MacKiev, the company that acquired the rights to the popular Family Tree Maker software program from some months ago. I have read complaints in this newsletter’s comments section and elsewhere that Software McKiev has not met some of their promised delivery dates. In fact, there is some truth to that in a couple of cases but, more commonly, the “problem” is that the customer(s) simply didn’t know the latest status updates.

I spent time talking with representatives of Software McKiev this past week at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! show held in Birmingham, England. One fact I learned is that Software McKiev updates their own customer support page frequently, especially when there is news to share with customers.

If you want to learn the latest status information concerning Family Tree Maker, either for the Windows or Macintosh version, check out

I just looked at and I see updates made within the past 24 hours and on a Sunday, no less.

If you use Family Tree Maker, check the page at in order to obtain the latest status.


I have used FTM since the beginning and recently purchased 2014.1 for $29.95. A very fair price. Now, 2017 is in the works and because I purchased 2014.1, I’ll be getting 2017 for free. More than fair. So, McKiev is making sure users have a good product before the release. I like that. They also are making certain that the software works with the Ancestry site properly. Ancestry engineers are working with McKiev to correct any compatibility problems. Makes good sense. Meanwhile, my 2014.1 is working like a charm, but with no sync with Ancestry. No worries, I can wait. So why the complaints? It goes back to that old saying, “You can’t make everybody happy all the time.”

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MacKiev is doing a good job of fixing issues before they launch FTM 2017. A month delay now will save them and all users a lot of grief. Many of the issues seem due to Ancestry which does not have a great history of good software engineering (ie no way to turn off forum alerts due to a long missing button). Pricing for the new version is also fair. People who bought in the last year get it free and others who have never paid anything to MacKiev got a $30 pre-release or $40 upgrade price. MacKiev should have a trial version for new users or forget their $70 list price.


Is there a notification email list that we can subscribe to so that can send out to notify those who already have their product? I’d like to receive notice about 2017 version being ready to upload when they go ahead with it.


I have complied with their request of proof of purchase 2 or 3 times. thought everything was fine then today when I opened FTM again the requested proof of purchase to update. Frankly, I am getting sick and tired of paying for updates or subscriptions prices constantly going up.


I have used previous versions of FTM (way back to the Brodenbund days), and have the most current version of the Mac version from MacKiev. I must say, although I miss a few of the features that I used to have on the old versions, I LOVE their customer service! They are very prompt in returning emails, and have helped me with an issue that I was having. I’ve been debating switching to RootsMagic, but as long as the service with MacKiev is good, I think I’ll wait….


I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with MacKiev. Last year it was months before a bug fix release was out, after being announced with a general timeframe. Now we were given an explicit release date, which passed 3 weeks ago. OK, yeay, they’re testing. But for me, a release date implies the testing has already happened, not that the release date is the very start of testing and it will be Someday when the release will actually happen. I work for a software company, and if I did that I would be fired.
The updates encourage people to sign up for updates, which I do every time, only to have to sign up again later. Why aren’t updates sent to the people who signed up for them? Why do I have to keep signing up? Also, we’re encouraged to sign up for the beta program, which I’ve done and got no response. Now yesterday’s update says we’ll get an email Monday to sign up for the beta test – which I’ve done already – and based on past history I wonder if I need to sign up for something in order to get an email Monday in order to sign up so I can be blown off again.


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