I was surprised to see on GenSoftReviews, that Ultimate Family Tree got its 10th review today. It was a rating of 5 out of 5. It brings UFT’s current overall time-weighted rating up to 4.04. That’s enough to qualify it for a User’s Choice Award if it can hang on to that until the end of the year.
This was the 4th 5 star rating for UFT. It also had one 4 star review and a 1 star review. The other 4 were unrated. No one complained about the program. The complaints were that they are still trying to use it but it no longer works on their new computer.
Ultimate Family Tree was a good program. It was very advanced for its time. It was the first to be Event based and allowed extensive customization. It also was able to handle very large family trees. I know someone who used it for a tree of over 150,000 people. Many programs today can’t come close to that.
But UFT ceased to exist in 2003 when it was purchased by Genealogy.com (parent of Ancestry.com) who also purchased their other competition - Generations and Family Origins, dropping all three in favor of Family Tree Maker.
… and if UFT does qualify at the end of the year, who do I give the award to?
The point I’m making is that a program that was dropped 8 years ago today has qualified for a GenSoftReviews Users Choice Award. This makes it still popular enough and better liked than all but 12 programs in the ranking for the 2011 awards. It is narrowly beaten out by Family Tree Maker (Up to Version 14) - the program that replaced it with a rating of 4.15, but it is much higher than FTM’s successor: Family Tree Maker Since Version 2008 (rating 2.44), which long time users have shown a lot of resistence to.
My question is: with all the genealogy software out there, why have so few improved on a model created 20 years ago? Brother’s Keeper, Personal Ancestral File and Reunion are three other 20 year old programs that are in the top 13. Surprisingly absent from the list are the Online programs. Only WikiTree and Family Tree Builder make the grade.
Software has improved on all fronts - but new genealogy innovations don’t seem to be taking hold. The old reliables still have front stage.