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Intuit’s Update Fiasco: There is a Better Way

Intuit appears to have entered a new market, that of permanent file deletion. Whether you want it or notsmile_angry:

“Mac users who installed an update to their QuickBooks software over the weekend were met with a nasty surprise: missing data.

The update caused several Mac users to lose data from their Desktop folders, infuriating many who were hoping to close their books this week for 2007, only to lose valuable purchase orders and spreadsheets” – reports News.com.

Intuit’s recommendation:

“For those of you who have been affected, we are testing out options for recovering the deleted files. Our recommendation for now is to turn off your computer and do not use it further. If you continue using your computer or reboot, you may over-write the area on the disk where the deleted data is stored, preventing any recovery efforts from being effective.”

Hm…considering the type/size of businesses typically using QuickBooks, not touching their computer in the middle of the year-end rush may not be a viable option.smile_sad. Intuit is clearly throwing in support resources, customers can register and will be called back to individually assess their situation. For many, the damage may very well be more than losing a few hours:

(This is where I wanted to quote an Intuit forum message claiming lost file, lost business damage – I saw the post 15 minutes ago, now it’s gone. Could it have been deleted?)

We’re living in the age of crappy software. QuickBooks is not alone, this incident is just more dramatic than the typical update failures. Even when updates don’t fail, they are becoming a nuisance. Last week I just pinged someone on Skype, when my Internet connection dropped again – a “standard” Vista feature, to be remedied by a reboot. So there I was, waiting to resume the chat session when the machine decided to implement 9 updates. This being a ‘screamer’ PC the update only took 7 minutes before shut-off, and a few more to configure on re-start; by the time I could come back online, my chat partner was gone. The two XP laptops in the house are a lot slower, so I just left them alone to complete their 11 updates… experience tells me sometimes these take half an hour or more.clock Who has time for this? Between the applications we actually use and all the crapware needed just to keep our computers running (virus scan, firewall, anti-spy, desktop search, backup, synchronization …etc), it’s just getting way too much to deal with.

By now my regular readers probably know where I am heading: there is a better, safer, easier way. Proponents of Cloud computing (On-demand, SaaS) typically point out portability, collaboration as key benefits, but there’s another huge benefit: ease of mind. The web applications I often use (Gmail, the Zoho Productivity Suite, CRM..etc) get updated just as frequently (actually, more) than their desktop counterparts, but I don’t have to worry about these updates: the service provider takes care of them. The whole process is not transparent to me, the user. I dumped the responsibility on the service provider: they work for me. smile_wink

Are you ready to have peace of mind?

Update: I could not have made this up: just as I was about to post this, I checked TechMeme for updates to the Intuit story, only to see this headline: Microsoft security update cripples IE .

I rest my case.

Related posts: support.quickbooks.intuit.com, CNET News.com, The Apple Core, CrunchGear, MacUser, Macsimum News, Ubergizmo, Apple Gazette, O’Grady’s PowerPage, Zero Day , Donna’s SecurityFlash, AccMan Pro.

Comments

  1. “there is a better, safer, easier way.”
    I wonder about the easier part – dang, Zoho hang up and crap, it messed up 3 hours work, doh and I don’t have a local copy, jeez what shoud I do now? (solution, I copy it to my harddisk every 5 minutes since then. )

    And better – why, why, why do they have to cut internet right now??? I got only 30 minutes to finish this!! damn…..

    Some old problems solved – upgrade problems – some new problems created.

  2. Roland, I’m not sure I understand this: are you saying you lost your internet connection while working on Zoho?
    It autosaves your work, so you should find it back online…

  3. No, it crashed and when it came back my document was corrupted and Zoho could not restore it.
    Had to start from scratch again.

    The losing internet is a different problem, when you have to finish something and you loose net connection.

    So yes, storing your documents in the cloud, but it can have the same problems like an offline document writer, plus internet connection is not a sure thing.

  4. So – dumb enter -, the cloud is not a 100% solution. It is a tool, sometimes more fitting, sometimes not, depending on your needs.

  5. Roland : Our sincere apologies. Can you please tell us which Zoho service you faced this issue with? Do mail me with further details of the browser name/version you were using. May be it was due to an unstable internet connection.

    We will certainly investigate on this further.

  6. Zoho writer, Flock 1.0.3, it happened on the 9th of december in the afternoon.

    I happens, I just wanted to point out that software is software, no matter where it is installed :)

    If you need some other information I will try to dig it up :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Zoli Erdos correctly points out that: We’re living in the age of crappy software. QuickBooks is not alone, this incident is just more dramatic than the typical update failures. Even when updates don’t fail, they are becoming a nuisance… Proponents of Cloud computing (On-demand, SaaS) typically point out portability, collaboration as key benefits, but there’s another huge benefit: ease of mind. The web applications I often use (Gmail, the Zoho Productivity Suite, CRM..etc) get updated just as frequently (actually, more) than their desktop counterparts, but I don’t have to worry about these updates: the service provider takes care of them…I dumped the responsibility on the service provider: they work for me. [...]

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