I’m starting to despise Intuit

I really am.

I use Quickbooks to pay my caregivers because it prints IRS-blessed W-2s. It’s a very expensive solution, but it has gotten the job done–until now. I just received a nice email from Intuit, creator of Quicken, Quckbooks, and a plethora of other financial software, warning that existing version of Quickbooks "may be adversely affected when used on a computer running Windows Vista."

<Expletive deleted> Why? Intuit’s explanation is that those Quickbooks versions were written before Vista and use technologies that may be incompatible. To translate that in real-world English: "Oh, we’ve been writing piss-poor software that broke many existing rules for Windows programs. Since Vista is less lax in enforcing those rules, we’re going to seize this opportunity to force you to buy yet another version of Quickbooks instead of fixing our code like most vendors do." You can imagine my reaction as a Windows applications developer. Why should we subsidize Intuit’s laziness and greed?

Yes, I am running Vista. The experience has thus far reminded me of Lilly, my service dog. Both are large, with a lot of fluff (at least when Lilly has her winter coat), and not especially fast. However, the biggest similarity is their behavior. At least one friend has described Lilly as "placid," very little upsets her. That also seems to apply to Vista, at least on my laptop. I’ve thrown a rather dizzying variety of programs at it, some over a decade old, and only one sound card driver has caused any issues. The migration has been surprisingly smooth. Xpress-It works on Vista. There’s a problem with Xpress-It’s copy protection under Vista, but that in no way affects the program’s functionality. I’ve already created a temporary solution,and will have to choose a permanent answer. Tell us again, Intuit, why you shouldn’t be expected to treat your customers with that same sort of respect?

At their heart, Quickbooks and Quicken are database programs just as Xpress-it is. Of course, additional features are layered over that, but it’s no mystery how these programs basically work. I’ve tested Quickbooks Pro 2006 under Vista, and the only issue I’ve seen is that the program gets confused about whether or not it needs to download updates. Otherwise, it appears to work. Intuit would do well to remember that Quickbooks isn’t just used by businesses, it’s also important to individuals who must do W-2s. Please don’t continue to make us buy new versions every year.


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