I really liked this post by Larry Dignan over at ZDNet. Though I believe Microsoft is showing less of its web services hand than it is holding, Larry brings up a good point: Microsoft has been talking about a connected desktop-plus-web world for many years, while Intuit has been quietly demonstrating how it's done:In this vision, Microsoft takes its applications, hooks them up with Web services, creates a competitive advantage and layers in advertising. Intuit's spin on this plan is "connected services." The big difference: Intuit is delivering without getting caught up in advertising. Microsoft … Read more
Intuit has just launched a useful but limited little financial tracking utility for your mobile phone: Quicken Beam. You tell it about your financial accounts, like your bank and your credit card, and then it will alert you when balances reach a certain point. You can also send it a text message and it will message you back current balances or recent transactions. There's a mobile Web version for iPhones.
Beam has the benefit of being simple, but it is not deep. It will tell you about only your last five transactions in an account, and it doesn't … Read more
Sridhar Vembu, CEO of AdventNet, is not afraid of going up against Microsoft Office or Google Apps. He is also the CEO of Zoho, which recently announced that it had achieved 1 million registrations (between 300,000 and 350,000 log on to the service monthly) for its cloud-based set of productivity applications. Vembu is now making a financial case that Zoho is better positioned than Google to take on Microsoft in the upcoming office suite sweepstakes.
Vembu's analysis is based on a comparison of revenue per employee and profit per employee metrics. "The gap in revenue per … Read more
Intuit has been sniffing around open source for at least a year now, but predominately as a platform (Linux) upon which its applications could run. It opened the door a bit more in April when it opened up QuickBase to developers, but now seems to be paving the way for a more complete launch into open source with its Linux Business Resource Center.
Yes, that Intuit. Promoting Linux and open source.
Intuit has had little to fear from open-source solutions creeping into its business and further commodifying its market, which makes its proactive push around Linux all the more laudable. I doubt that many of its customers currently use Linux. Perhaps this is a way to try to encourage its 25 million strong QuickBooks user base to adopt the open-source operating system?
Indeed, Will Bryant from Intuit's PR team noted to me that "the site also acts as a forum for new users interested in Linux to learn about the operating system and answer common questions associated with moving to an open-source system." Intuit the open-source evangelist?
If you've ever been involved in any sort of home construction, you know it always takes longer than the contractors say it will. For the past 10 weeks, the Tobaks have been doing a swimming pool project. So far, so good.
Last night, as the Bay Area cooled down from a three-day heat wave, my wife said, "It would sure be nice to get water in the pool in the next two weeks."
"What do you mean?" I exclaimed, "You know the pool company is scheduled to come out tomorrow and fill it up on Tuesday. Two weeks? We'll be swimming in two days!"
"Uh huh," she said.
The next morning, my wife pulled the pillow off my snoring head and announced, "We have no water."
I replied with a blank, bleary-eyed stare.
"The pool guys are all here and we have no water."
"Okay," I replied, "I'm getting up."
Apparently, a stuck check valve in our irrigation system had been dumping precious water faster than our well pump could pump it. Our holding tanks were dry.
No water meant the pool guys couldn't do their thing. An hour later, the whole gang packed up and left.
When you live in a rural mountainous area, this sort of thing happens from time to time. That means every few years.
So I'm sitting here trying to figure out how my wife knew something was going to happen. She couldn't possibly have known. Wait, I know. She sabotaged the irrigation system just to appear prescient. Nah, that's just crazy.
When I asked her about it, she said she'd just had a feeling.
That got me thinking: Is there such a thing as intuition? And if so, what is it and how does it matter to you and me?… Read more
Intuit is announcing today its entry into the growing app platform market. Like Salesforce has done, Intuit's new QuickBase Developer Program will let developers create and sell add-on Web apps that tap into the company's core product: QuickBooks. And like Salesforce, Intuit will market these third-party apps directly to its customers via a promotional channel in the core app. Intuit will go after the small-business market with the program, leaving the enterprise space for Salesforce--even though both companies have customers in the other's main market.
Intuit claims an addressable market of 3.6 million companies that use … Read more
After I wrote up Zoho Invoice (review), I got a call from Intuit, makers of QuickBooks (which Zoho may integrate with some day). They had news for me: Intuit has a free Web-based invoicing app too: Intuit Billing Manager. And it's been out since September.
Well, slap me silly. For some reason Intuit hasn't publicized this neat little app. But my Zoho writeup got under their skin, and they called to give me a demo.
I found Intuit Billing Manager a strong invoicer for the very small business. Getting started takes very little time, and it shows you … Read more
The WSJ reports on a (supposedly) growing trend of people looking for more stable (call them old-school) companies as opposed to start-ups.
The story cites the fact that IPOs are down and that getting to a public offering is taking much longer than it did in the 2000-era where you could basically get an office and file to go public. But that was never scalable and in fact contributed to serious economic confusion--especially here in the valley.
I believe that today's startups are much better managed than the companies that were being built in early 2000 or so. The … Read more
Many times when an Internet radio appears on Crave, it's from Europe or some other galaxy far, far away (unless it's the most awesome "Chumby" or "Nabaztag," of course). So we always appreciate the opportunity to note that they do exist in the States too.
Case in point: Intuit's "Grace" digital radio is a desktop receiver that promises to stream more than 10,000 Internet stations through a Wi-Fi connection without any subscriptions. It also claims to have a "low distortion, high-quality sound" with "deep bass effect" … Read more
Although I wasn't planning on writing this column for at least a few months, it looks like the recent developments in the Microsoft-Yahoo merger have precipitated my need to do just that.
Allow me to say with total and utter certainty that Microsoft never wanted this deal with Yahoo and was using it to gain important information about the company before it was forced to drop billions of dollars on an acquisition that almost everyone knew was tenuous, at best.
But unfortunately for Microsoft, its plan backfired and now it's left with nothing to show for it.
Of course, the real goal all along was to initiate the acquisition phase of the deal, perform due diligence tests to see what sort of technology Yahoo employs and what it has in store for the future and once the Department of Justice found problems in the deal, back out.