Ashkon Technology's Historical Quotes Downloader is a free download that costs just shy of $50. Before you look up who said "A fool and his money are soon parted," be advised it's not that kind of historical quote. This software instantly downloads intraday and daily historical quotes for stocks, mutual funds, and indices traded in the United States or Canada, including NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX. With a customizable ASCII output, it's compatible with leading financial tools like MetaStock and Omega TradeStation. The program downloads quotes from free Internet sources, so there are no subscription fees or hidden costs, just a one-time registration fee.
The program offers a lot of settings and options that require some knowledge of investing and how the markets work, but there's a Help file with good explanations and background information. The one-time registration cuts down the hassle involved in synchronizing the software with a subscription service, which most investment-related software requires. It will return minute-by-minute or hour-by-hour quotes, adjust for splits and dividends, and export the data for analysis in popular applications. It quickly returns accurate quotes, thanks to multiple server support. Its only real fault is its limitation to Windows XP and below, which may be an issue for investors, who tend to be cutting-edge types. Thought Windows 7's XP mode runs programs that Vista doesn't, a proper update is needed.
Historical Quotes Downloader installs desktop icons without asking; it's free to try for 10 days. However, being limited to XP somewhat limits its appeal.