There was one thing about the Test Drive program that we thought was so valuable that we wanted to keep it going after the all the test driving was done and FTM 2017 was released. And that's the 48-hour check-in. After two days of using a beta edition of FTM 2017, test drivers would stop for five minutes and fill out a survey on their experiences while we ran a diagnostic test in the background.  That gave us an extraordinary chance to touch base with each and every one of our test drivers, even if only for a few minutes, to see how their test drive had gone for them.

So in the spirit of the test drive, but for finished released software, we're proud to introduce the test drive's new cousin – the FTM Co-Pilot Program. The idea is simple and will be familiar to test drivers everywhere. We start every new FTM 2017 user off with 48 hours of flight on their own, and then have them land for a brief check-in on the second day. The diagnostic test is free, fast, easy and optional. From the results we can tell if the user had crash landed while syncing or run into other problems that we can start to address. Or if they had a great adventure, send them on their way.


On the first startup of FTM 2017, each user will see the CO-PILOT PROGRAM welcome screen, describing what to expect, and also letting them know that support systems, including Live Chat, are there for them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When the 48 hours are up, they would restart Family Tree Maker and a screen appears inviting them to a Co-Pilot Program Check-in. The user then either fills out out a very brief survey while the diagnostic tests are run, or says "no thanks" to opt out.  And either way, if there was trouble on the flight, an invitation to Live Chat is offered.


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