I dug down a little deeper into the new RootsMagic website and found the comparison charts of what's included in RootsMagic 4 and RootsMagic Essentials. The comparison tables are at http://www.rootsmagic.com/RootsMagic/Features.aspx.
For a beginning genealogist, the important things to have in genealogy software are, in my opinion:
* Able to add any number of persons to the database, including facts, sources and notes.
As far as I can tell, RootsMagic Essentials has each of these capabilities, with the exception of the Descendants View in navigation.
It is for these reasons that I have been recommending that my Beginning Computer Genealogy class members download Legacy Family Tree Standard Version software for Free as a "starter" software. If the continue with genealogy research, they can then select a full-featured software program of their choice.
Now, RootsMagic Essentials is, at first glance, an equivalent free software program. I will be recommending both programs to my class members.
Look at the list of capabilities for RootsMagic Essentials, and the major features that are not included, compared to RootsMagic 4, include:
* RootsMagic-To-Go feature
All in all, RootsMagic Essentials is a great starter program for beginning and intermediate genealogy researchers.
You can download RootsMagic Essentials for FREE and easily install it on your computer system here.