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Microsoft passes newly minted Money

The software giant ships Money 2002, the latest version of its personal-finance software, as it scrambles to catch Intuit in the money-management market.

Microsoft shipped on Tuesday the latest version of its personal-finance software, Money 2002, as it scrambles to catch up with chief rival Intuit in the money-management market.

Money 2002 Standard, Deluxe and Suite are the 10th anniversary versions of the company's money-management software.

As in previous versions, Microsoft continues to boost Internet compatibility within the product with new features such as MoneySide, which allows people to access their Money account online.

"Though moving this way for sometime, this is much more integrated with Web tools and services provided by Microsoft" than previous versions of Money, said Rob Enderle, an analyst with Giga Information Group. "This will also figure into the .Net strategy in time, with HailStorm and Passport authentication" playing a large role in the future.

The release is Microsoft's latest push in the personal-finance market. The company has been pitched in battle with Intuit, which is expected to release its latest Quicken financial software this week as well.

Enderle said Microsoft is still fighting to catch up with Intuit in the race for dominance in the market. He expects Intuit to maintain its No. 1 spot, a 60 percent share of the market.

Microsoft Money 2002 Standard, which helps people manage day-to-day financial duties such as paying bills, creating a budget and reducing debt, costs $34.95. Money 2002 Deluxe, which handles day-to-day finances as well as comprehensive financial planning, tax management and investment, is priced at $64.95.

Money 2002 Deluxe & Business, which lets people manage both business and personal finances with tools such as expense tracking, reporting and invoicing, costs $84.95. And Money 2002 Suite, which includes additional tools for tax and legal management, is priced at $94.95.