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Microsoft Money 2006 Enhances Online Banking With Easy-to-Use Tools to Help Consumers Understand All Their Finances

With banking, credit and investment information all in one place, consumers can spend less time worrying about money and more ti

REDMOND, Wash., July 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp. today announced the launch of Microsoft(R) Money 2006 Premium, providing the tools and information that consumers need to take the convenience of online banking to the next level. The new software includes features that make it easier to see more than just account balances, understand spending, budget, manage and reduce debt, and pay multiple bills -- all in one place.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )

In a world where a gallon of gas costs more than two dollars and the cost of raising a child can be upward of a quarter of a million dollars,(1) it's never been more important to have a handle on spending and overall financial health. Studies show that 71 percent of online bankers cite convenience as their chief reason for using the service rather than conventional banking.(2) With new and enhanced features such as the Spending Tracker and time-saving Multiple Bill Pay, Money 2006 offers consumers one place to see where all their money is going and organize bills from multiple accounts with only a few clicks.

"Money 2006 was designed to build on the rising trend of online banking by offering all of the consumer's financial information in one easy-to-use location," said Anne Quaranta, senior product manager for Microsoft Money. "With automated tools that do the thinking for you, consumers are now able to spend less time worrying about their money and more time enjoying it. Our goal with Money 2006 was to provide consumers with a complete view of where their money is, has been and where it is going."

Beyond Account Balances With Money 2006

Consumers are turning to the Internet to get the latest information on their personal finances and are quickly becoming accustomed to viewing their accounts and financial information whenever and wherever they desire. According to a recent study, 44 percent of all Internet users are now banking online, which isn't a surprise since it takes the average person two hours each month to pay approximately 15 bills(3) if he or she does it the traditional way by writing checks out by hand and recording them in a check register.

With automated tools that take the guesswork out of managing finances, Money 2006 arms consumers with a quick and easy solution that allows them to see beyond their account balances and understand where all their money is going. The software includes many new and enhanced features to help consumers conveniently handle finances:

* Enhanced Spending Tracker. Money 2006 gives consumers the ability to set up their budget their way. It's simple to track spending in categories they want to watch closely, such as dining out, entertainment or clothing. Spending thermometers show them at a glance exactly how much they've spent and when they're getting close to budget limits. The Spending Tracker now lets consumers automatically track spending in as many favorite categories as they want and provides alerts when overspending occurs. * Multiple Bill Payment. Money 2006 now gives consumers the ability to pay all their bills from multiple accounts and designate from which bank account each payment needs to be made. With just a few clicks, they can pay all their bills at once, from one location, including directly from the Bill Calendar. * Automatic investment prices. With Money 2006, consumers can automatically receive stock prices with just a click. Transactions within the Investment Register are automatically updated to help eliminate the guesswork and time it takes to research current stocks prices. * Exchange Traded Funds Center. Money 2006 now enables consumers to view and track Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), a growing investment category. According to Financial Research Corp., last year's total ETF assets ballooned 51 percent to $227 billion and are expected to hold $812 billion in 2009. Money 2006 now enables consumers to follow this trend and view and track their funds easily through this center.

More information on Money 2006 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/money .

Pricing and Availability

Microsoft Money 2006 Standard is available at an estimated retail price of $29.95* (U.S.) plus a $5 rebate; Money 2006 Deluxe is available for an estimated retail price of $59.95* (U.S.) plus a $20 rebate; Money 2006 Premium is available at an estimated retail price of $79.95* (U.S.) plus a $30 rebate; and Money 2006 Small Business is available at an estimated retail price of $89.95* (U.S.) plus a $30 rebate. To acquire Money 2006, consumers can visit http://www.microsoft.com/money or a local retailer, or call 888-218-5617.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

(1) U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2004 (2) Ponemon Institute LLC 2005 Privacy Trust Survey for Online Banking (3) Online Banking 2005: A PEW Internet Project Data Memo, PEW Internet and American Life Project * Actual retail prices may vary.

NOTE: Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Microsoft Corp.

CONTACT: Amber Marquez-Moore of Edelman, +1-503-471-6807, or
[email protected], both of Microsoft Corp.

Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/

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