Microsoft is to end sales - and within a few years, online support - for its Money software.

Microsoft explains the reasoning as follows: "The category of personal financial-management software has changed considerably in the 17 years since Money was first established. As more users shift their attention to full-service offerings provided by banks and brokerages, demand for a comprehensive personal finance toolset has declined".

Products affected include Microsoft Money Essentials, Microsoft Money Plus Deluxe, Microsoft Money Plus Premium and Microsoft Money Plus Home & Business.

The software's online services are due to expire 2 years after initial activation or on 31 January 31 2011, "whichever is earlier".

The software will still be usable after the online expiration, except for Money Essentials - apparently "not designed to be usable once online services have expired".