I hope you are not right, Andy. But the way it is presented, I simply cannot tell what you are really getting.
I was very excited by what I heard in the Ancestry panel at RootsTech. I told a lot of people that Ancestry was potentially going to be making a really big move on DNA that would make it significantly better than any other genealogical DNA services had been.
There were four things that came out of that RootsTech panel that I told people about ...
1 - Ancestry was clearly focusing on presenting DNA test results in a way that people can easily understand.
Too many people who have bought into genealogical DNA testing really have little to show for their investment. Sure there are some successes that can be pointed to, but the vast majority of people really have little idea of how to get the best benefit from their results. And Ancestry seemed to be committed to grabbing this bull by the horns and really doing something better.
2 - Ancestry was talking about how sequencing a person's entire genome now cost only a bit over $1,000.
The existing state of genealogical DNA testing has been that you send in a DNA sample and they do test A and then a bit later they announce that you can now pay $200 more to have test B and later comes test C for another $199 ... and all this adds up. If a person could simply opt to pay $1,000 and know that they would have every bit of their genome sequenced, that really is very much more appealing than the "buy the latest test" way things have been going.
3 - Ancestry was talking about how they were ratcheting up their computing power, since comparing entire genomes for matches requires heavy number crunching.
This was yet another indication of a quantum leap ahead of all the other genealogical DNA testing service -- something that would dramatically raise the bar.
4 - Ancestry had hired several PhD computational biololgists to deal with this number crunching
Yet another signal of a major change in how genealogical DNA is done.
So I told people about these things. And the months have gone by with Ancestry having a banner on the web pages to tout the new DNA initiative. And now it is finally announced. And my reaction is "Huh?"
I just do not really see anything at all ground-breaking in the announcement -- and certainly nothing of the magnitude hinted at in the RootsTech panel.
And I am at a loss to explain to the people who I have been telling about this just ...
A - How it differs from Family Tree DNA or any other service?
B - How it even differs from what Ancestry has offered in the past?
C - Just what it is that $99 is supposed to be buying you?
The four things that I listed above from RootsTech may be there, but if they are then Ancestry really needs to present this much more clearly. And they really need to be very explicit about answering A, B and C.
It really is a major disappointment after what I saw at RootsTech and all the expectation of several months of buildup.