I have learned a lesson, and paid for it with hassle. I bought MS Money 2006 Deluxe online directly from microsoft and paid $40 or something like that, and then submitted their rebate and got half of it back. This was in July. I did it because well I have a lot of experience with MS Money and like it. I thought about trying Quicken, but, I think Money does all I need.
Anyway, the way you get it to work is download the crippled trial, then it uses the magic of your MSN account to know that it is authorized and downloads the parts it needs to uncripple itself. Fine. Except when a couple months later your daughter spills water on the laptop, fries a memory chip, and eventually you end up getting the machine working again, but somehow you unintentionally uninstalled MS Money during the fracas.
So I figure, fine I'll reinstall... from what? Well I guess I download the trial again and it will uncripple itself automagically. No Dice. It has no idea I should have the paid version. So I start trying to figure out how to contact MS to fix it. Seems I would have to register a credit card to call them or email their support and risk them charging me at least $100 if it turns out I am too stupid to find the checkbox that says it should be uncrippled. This mental block is enough to keep me from doing it for a while.
Today I vow to do something about it, and I [look](http://www.roosster.com/rstr/) and see that I can buy MS Money 2006 Deluxe from Staples and if I buy Taxcut, I can get some rebate stuff. Well I don't really want taxcut, but I see that I can get a $40 rebate, and I also find that Target has Taxcut Deluxe+State for $20, and MS Money 2006 Deluxe for $20. And the rebate in question is offered from HR Block. Therefore, I run to Target. Pay $42. And I will mail in a rebate form and get a $40 check in a couple weeks. Sure I am out some effort and $2. But the risk of paying potentially $100, and the added bonus of having an actual uncrippled CD to reinstall the software as I like outweighs that.
So I think the moral of this story is: * Don't buy mass marketed stuff directly from the manufacturer because a better deal can surely be found from the purchasing power of a retail outlet. * Don't buy downloadable software if you can get a hard copy of it for the same or less cost. * If you wait until January you can most likely upgrade financial software for free.