Intuit is *still* evil, news at ll.

Posted by joy

This morning, boingboing and slashdot are all aflutter because Intuit is yet again disabling earlier versions of Quicken. The Slashdot thread has some informative posts from a few developers who have worked for financial institutions and have experience with Intuit. According to one poster, the reason for this most recent push to upgrade is that Intuit has switched vendors for their online bill pay backend.

I’ve written about Intuit and it’s unholy ways in the past, let’s peruse the timeline, shall we? Suffice it to say, I’m not only a Quicken user but I’ve taught classes on how to use Quicken, so I think you could call me a power user. Intuit is a software company that writes various financial software packages, some of them you might know like personal finance software Quicken, Turbo Tax, and software for small business called Quickbooks. If you’ve ever used Intuit software, you’ll notice that Intuit not only is selling software, but is trying to sell services, which may or may not be beneficial to the consumer. Product tie ins with Quicken, for example, include stock quotes, integration with TurboTax and online bill pay directly from your Quicken software.

In 2003, Intuit got into a heap of bad PR because they included digitial rights software called C-Dilla along with their Turbo Tax product, without telling anyone. The major problem with the included DRM, was that it was uninstallable and it did not allow the software to be run on more than one computer, which proved to be a major inconveience to honest users. It was only months later that Intuit apologized for the mistake, and handed out universal product keys for Turbo Tax. Then, in May 2004 Intuit announced they were cutting support for previous versions of Quicken 98, Quicken 99, and Quicken 2000.

Back then I observed…

The WaPo article touches upon a personal sticking point I’ve had with the way the whole Quicken “system” operates. If you use the Quicken bill pay and/or the stock quote and investing features, you have to use the Quicken servers. Thus, when Intuit chooses to pull support, you’re up a creek. This is why in my classes I would make sure that my students realized that they could pull their own stock quotes/do bill pay through their financial institution’s Web site.

In all reality, the problem for Intuit is that there not much innovation to be done in the area of personal finance software, therefore, one needs to add bloat in order to move new versions of the product. Like I stated earlier, most people have relatively simple needs and the only way that they are going to purchase new versions of this type of software is if the support for the software ends.

2 Responses to “Intuit is *still* evil, news at ll.”

  1. fluffy Says:

    Man, why does my cousin keep on ending up for evil companies with their heads up their butts? (Before he became a project manager at Intuit, he was a project manager at…)

  2. bert Says:

    I find it easier to keep track of my money by keeping it in a safe place — under my mattress, and buried in coffee cans around the backyard, then drawing a treasure map.