Ancestry has announced the release of Family Tree Maker 2008. Although I started with FTM in DOS format back in 1990 and have upgraded along the way, I haven't yet explored the new release.
For more information now, see the Reviewers Guide, including screen shots of new features, here (loading may be slow). Dick Eastman's readers have contributed many beta reviewer comments here, and blogger Randy Seaver has a posting on more reviewer comments here.
The press release:
PROVO, Utah, Aug. 14 -- Ancestry.com, the world's largest online resource for family history, today announced the release of Family Tree Maker 2008, a completely redesigned and ground-breaking version of the world's No. 1 selling family history software. Family Tree Maker 2008 boasts an intuitive new interface and dozens of new features built on an entirely revamped, modern platform - the result of a two-year, back-to-the-drawing-board development process.
In one software bundle, Family Tree Maker 2008 provides users tools to quickly build their family trees, record their memories and organize their family photos, stories, video and audio clips. Users can quickly find and import facts and historical documents about their family from the Internet and print custom-designed family trees and books. With dynamic satellite maps and customizable timelines, Family Tree Maker 2008 truly broadens the capabilities that every family history program should include.
"Family Tree Maker 2008 redefines family tree building software, providing users with powerful, unrivaled tools and resources to discover and share their family stories," said Tim Sullivan, CEO of The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of Ancestry.com. "The software's seamless integration with the Ancestry.com Web site further solidifies Ancestry.com as the family history authority both on and offline."
Family Tree Maker users can tap into Ancestry.com's unrivaled collection of family history records and powerful search features - without leaving Family Tree Maker. When connected to the Internet, Family Tree Maker 2008 automatically searches Ancestry.com for historical documents about the individuals in the user's family tree. With a few mouse clicks, users with an Ancestry.com subscription can view and import these historical records into their family tree.
"Family Tree Maker 2008 offers every user an intuitive out-of the-box experience," said Megan Smolenyak, Chief Family Historian for Ancestry.com. "Ancestry.com developers worked closely with industry professionals as well as family history beginners to create a program that uniquely spans the range of user ability with an easy-to-use interface that also offers advanced, robust features."
The following new and updated features expand Family Tree Maker's capabilities:
-- Interactive Street and Satellite Maps - Use Microsoft® Virtual Earth™* to access dynamic street and satellite maps that pinpoint important locations in ancestors' lives from within Family Tree Maker. A place-name database and hint engine helps users correctly enter localities in a consistent format.
-- Web Integration -View and search any Web site from within Family Tree Maker*. Once users locate information about their ancestors, they can easily import appropriate images, text and even a cached version of the Web page in to their family tree.
-- Individual Biographies - Create biographical sketches for each ancestor, adding life facts, historical documents, photos and other digital media. In addition, timelines highlight important personal, family and world events that occurred during ancestors' lifetimes.
-- Media Organization -Upload and manage image, audio, video and other media files. Users can attach these files directly to specific people in a family tree to better illustrate their family story.
-- Publish Family History Books - Create customized, illustrated family history books. Ancestry Press allows users to bring their family history to life with professionally designed charts, timelines, reports and pedigree charts, as well as photos, historical records and more. The books can then be professionally printed and bound (or printed on home printers).
For more, click here