Monday, January 31, 2005

Intuit Up to Shadowy Business Practices

Well, I realize this is quite a few BoingBoing links lately. The humor is, I don't read BoingBoing, I've only seen these posts from other sources. In the case of this post regarding Intuit, and their recent tricks (I'm sorry, business practices) involving Quicken, that wildly popular personal finance software program, I originally saw it on Slashdot. Basically, Intuit has disabled the online features, such as downloading your bank statements, and paying your bills, in older version of Quicken. Now, as one poster on Slashdot, very inarticulately put it, these are functions that could/should be possible directly between the software and the bank, without using Intuit as a middleman for any reason. So, it's not like these old version are costing them money each time they use these particular features. (Or if they are, it's only because Intuit wants it that way, since it isn't necessary to achieve the desired functionality.) So, the only reason that comes to mind right away is that they want cash flow from upgrades. Then there's the newly added note about Intuit sticking up the financial institutions for huge fees to support the new software as well. They are doing this, partially by disabling support for their own file format. Sounds like a well planned 1-2 punch. Force the users to use the new software, then force the banks to support the new software, which all their users just recently switched to. And, since Moneydance costs money, I guess it's time to break out my Linux box and start learning GnuCash!