Beta Version of Family Tree Maker 2008 is Here!

ftm2008.bmpFamily Tree Maker 2008 is coming this August, but you can give it a try now by downloading and installing a beta of the program. Before you download the beta program please note the following:

  • This is a beta program; therefore there are no guarantees that the program will perform correctly, nor are there any warranties of any kind.
  • Since this beta version is still in development it may crash or fail to function correctly. Though unlikely, installing the program may also negatively affect the operation of your computer.
  • Files created in this beta may not open in the release version of the product. Always keep a backup of your data in another genealogy program (such as Family Tree Maker 16).
  • The beta will stop functioning on August 24th. If you have entered information into the program that you would like to preserve please be sure to create a GEDCOM export before the 24th of August.
  • The beta download is very large (170 MB). Please note that a considerable amount of time may be required to download the beta.
  • The automatic web search feature is on by default in the beta program. This means that information will be transmitted automatically from your tree to in order to search for relevant records. If you would like to disable this feature you can do so by clicking on the options link in the tools menu.  

The minimum system requirements for running the program are:

  • Operating System: Windows XP/Vista
  • Processor: 500 MHz Intel Pentium II or equivalent (1 GHz or faster processor recommended)
  • Hard Disk: 400 MB for installation. Additional space required for data files.
  • Memory: 256 MB of RAM (512 MB of RAM recommended) 
  • Monitor: 800×600 resolution (1024×768 resolution recommended)
  • Internet: All online features require internet access

If you have any questions or encounter any errors in the program please email 

Click here to download the beta version of Family Tree Maker 2008.

6 thoughts on “Beta Version of Family Tree Maker 2008 is Here!

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  2. It’s worth taking a look at the concerns raised on the user-run FTM-tech mailing list on Rootsweb.

    There are many features missing from this re-write, such as the ability to read out old data CD-ROMs, and the Books feature, and there is quite a lot of discussion over changed and missing features. If, like me, you’ve invested in hundreds of dollars on database CD-Roms, then you may be unhappy to find that they can’t be used with the new software.

    More than half of those on the mailing list (using previous versions of FTM and testing the beta) that responded to an informal poll have said they would not upgrade to the FTM 2008 as primary software to replace older FTM versions because of various concerns raised about what we see in the beta.

    A “total re-write” means that this is essentially a 1.0 release of a significantly changed piece of software when it comes to features and stability, and it’s a version that doesn’t seem to have taken a lot of the needs and concerns of previous users into account.

    Don’t buy FTM 2008 next month expecting a simple upgrade from a previous version of FTM. The new version may offer some nice features but you are likely to still want to use the old version. Keep a copy of your old data and your old FTM install.

    Expect to take a lot of time learning the new software, and lots of time to clean up your old database after import if you can even get it to import.

  3. After working with software and hardware for just a few years before I retired, I learned that we didn’t want any Beta version of any software. We felt that the software manufacturer should do the Beta testing or offer special support for those brave enough to buy a beta version.

    As far as the ability to read database CD ROMS, my Family Tree Maker 2006 will not read the CD ROMS that were offered as a bonus for buying FTM 2006. I have been extremely disappointed regarding that issue.

  4. Very disappointed in the 2008 FTM Beta version, so far the only nice features are the maps included with each person and gee, I cannot think of any other.

    There is just too much “stuff” on the screen which makes it way too “busy”, everything is too small. Who needs anything but the immediate family you are working with on one screen.

    WHERE is the GENEALOGY REPORT? Large problem. That is the BEST report FTM had and the main reason for using FTM in the first place. My clients love that feature. Why remove it?

    They still haven’t included Christening to be shown on group sheets and pedigree when a birthdate isn’t available as in British and German records. I’ve been asking for this since version 4.

  5. If the comments in #3 & #5 above, regarding functions/tools missing in the 2008 beta version of FTM, are correct, I don’t want it! Perhaps a different program will offer a better package. I will begin searching.

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