Saturday, May 01, 2010

Just "Upgraded" to Quicken "Premier" 2010

I just upgraded my Quicken 2007 to the 2010 version of the software. I didn't have much choice - Intuit makes you buy a new copy of the software every three years if you want to use the automatic online update for your accounts. Given that this is the most important reason to use Quicken in the first place, there's not much choice but to acquiesce. So, I took the $70 hit and bought the software on Amazon, and today when my old version of the software refused to update my accounts, I made the switch.

The upgrade went smoothly and quickly. No problems of any sort. Of course, Intuit made me register the new software as a condition to using online account updates. I hope they enjoy contacting me in Azerbaijan... Of course, Intuit just feels free to use my computer desktop as its private garbage can and dumped three additional useless icons / advertisements on it, without asking me, including an ad for a credit card and a "free credit report". Assho***.

The software itself includes some cosmetic changes compared to my 2007 version, but they are really minor, and definitely not worth paying the upgrade price. There are, however, a number of annoying bugs that I suffered from in the 2007 version and that seem to have been fixed. For one, Quicken now downloads information directly from our Citibank accounts. Previously I had to do that manually, after logging into the online account myself. Second, the 2007 version suffered from a really obnoxious bug in which whatever changes I made to a graph were not saved and had to be made again and again every time I opened a report. The problem seems to have gone away [late breaking news: this bug still seems to be there, in a different and more annoying form. Idiots!]

Wouldn't it be nice if Intuit showed some innovation with this product? How about letting the user REALLY customize views (colors, graph sizes, positions etc.); how about if they let you pick what types of charts you'd like to see? Is there any particular reason why spending charts always appear as a pie chart? Why can't I choose a different look? Why can't I drag charts to reposition them and resize them on the screen - just like you can do with virtually any online customized page? How about time ranges? Why can't I choose my own preferred time period to chart? For example, when looking at my expenses, I would prefer to look at a 13 month time period which would allow me to compare the current month to the same month a year ago.

This entire platform is old and tired. Worse, Intuit doesn't even pretend to give a damn about its customers any more. It sells us the same piece of junk year after year, relying on the power of its monopoly in the space to get us all to buy its sub-par product. We need an Apple or a Google to get into the game and make things actually work! We need some real competition in this space.

All in all, Quicken is a pretty crappy product - and I should know, I have been using it since 2002. Unfortunately, it's also the only one out there and having all my financial information in one central file is valuable to me. It would be nice if there were some better products out there, but unfortunately this is all I've got.

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4 comments:

Kim Stiens said...

I don't know if it would have all the same features, but one step in the right direction is mint.com, which we use for our finances. It might be worth a try if you haven't used it before.

Shadox said...

Thanks, Kim. I have considered Mint, but don't like the idea of storing all my financial information in one location online (as opposed to just having it online at each financial institution). Seems like such an invitation to potential disaster.

Incidentally, Intuit recently purchased Mint, so I'm guessing it's only a matter of time before they turn it into suckiness incarnate... :-)

Anonymous said...

You can also try GnuCash, it's free.

Moonblossom said...

I prefer You Need A budget and have switched over to that instead of Quicken.