http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3 ... 479,00.asp
Intuit is following in the footsteps of giants. Wrongheaded, mistrustful, overcontrolling giants.
When Microsoft released Office XP and Windows XP with product activation embedded in both products, consumers and pundits alike responded with a gigantic hue and cry. Many Windows users were angry and felt betrayed by Microsoft. Others were uneasy and wondered whether product activation in Microsoft's products was a grim harbinger of things to come in the software industry.
Well wonder no more – product activation has now made its way into one of the most popular software programs ever created, TurboTax. And, as an extra bonus, the latest release of TurboTax comes with Macrovisions's obnoxious C-Dilla malware. C-Dilla prevents you from copying the CD by disabling your CD-RW drive. That means it's monitoring your CD writing activities all the time. As if you needed more processes running on your machine. Early reports from some users indicate that C-Dilla has caused interference with other software and that it is inordinately difficult to get rid of, perhaps requiring a low-level hard disk format. And to make things even dicier, Intuit apparently did not overtly inform purchasers of the new TurboTax that C-Dilla was included and would be installed on their systems.
We published a heads-up about this recently (TurboTax Customers Upset By DRM ) and the response from TurboTax customers was overwhelmingly angry and negative in the discussion in the ET forum. Intuit has sown the seeds of a mass migration from its tax software to competitors such as TaxCut (see PC Magazine's review of TaxCut). If you read the posts in the discussion, you'll see that many come from longtime TurboTax users who have vowed not to purchase Intuit products again until the spyware and activation are removed.
Anger at Intuit wasn't just apparent in the ET and PCMag forums. The Member Reviews area on PCMag also had very negative comments (see the TurboTax review link above and scroll down to read member comments). And former Intuit customers aren't just posting in our forums, they are taking their case directly to Intuit.
In my own case, I was on the verge of buying TurboTax until I caught the review we published on PCMag and noticed the blurb about activation. Unfortunately, we missed the C-Dilla thing, but as always, sharp-eyed readers caught the omission and gave us a heads-up about it. When it came time for me to buy my tax software, guess which product I picked? You got it – TaxCut. I didn't give TurboTax a second thought. Nor will I until product activation and spyware are completely removed from the product.
There's a lesson here for all companies: don't put activation and spyware into your products. Microsoft got away with it to a certain extent because it pretty much has a monopoly (at least for the time being). It can do certain things with impunity that other companies simply can't get away with. Intuit is not Microsoft and it, along with every other software company out there, had better realize that and act accordingly. Otherwise, they had better get ready to lose customers to their non-spyware, non-activation competition.
We all need to make our voices heard. This is no time to hang back or be passive. We need to take a stand and boycott all products that have activation and spyware in them. We need to contact the companies producing these products and let them know that we won't be buying anything from them until the spyware and activation are removed. We also need to contact companies that aren't including activation and spyware and let them know that we value their products and that we'll keep supporting them by purchasing their products.
H&R Block, are you out there? Remember where your new flood of TaxCut customers is coming from. Keep the spyware and activation out of your products and you will keep your customers. Unlike Intuit.