2008 may prove to be the year of the web application. Google has brought the spreadsheet and word processor online. I have been able to access my email online forever. And now Intuit is set to launch Quicken Online in January.
I couldn’t be more excited! But not just because I have been waiting for a trusted online financial manager that allows me to manage my finances from any computer, but also because of the implications.
Almost two months ago in my entry entitled Peering Into The Future, I mentioned that one of the biggest trends coming in mobile computing is connectivity and that this opens up the world for web-based applications. Both appear to be coming to pass. Already AT&T announced that the iPhone in 2008 will have Internet connectivity as fast as DSL and there are rumors that RIM is developing a BlackBerry that uses the same network (called 3G). I’m sure, although I haven’t heard, that Motorola, Samsung and the rest are not far behind.
Now, Intuit lends credibility to the web-based application. When big companies start to jump in it is a very good sign. Intuit’s online version will not only work in your web browser, but also on your iPhone (as reported by MacWorld Magazine here).
If software starts moving online and customers accept it, I predict that all of us — customers and companies — will be much happier. And that, my friends, will make a very happy New Year!
Quicken’s online version is a great step forward, but it is such a dumbed down version that I cannot imagine anyone actually using it – no split transactions, can’t import from local versions of Quicken, no asset management, etc. I really don’t know who they are targeting, but it certainly is not the existing user base.
Oh well, maybe they will wake up and make it into a real product one day.
Thanks for writing in David. It reminded me to come back and update this entry with my impressions of Quicken Online.
I have been using it now since it went live. It is pretty simple. I have had to off-load investment tracking and some other things I did in the desktop version before it.
It is clearly aimed at users who have not traditionally used a personal finance application but are comfortable with or prefer the online experience.
Given that, there are some early bugs in it that need to get worked out. My account updating has died a couple of times and frankly. I also think it needs to do a better job of remembering and updating automatically when new items are imported. For instance, I shop at a local grocer whose name in my bank account statements are not what I would use in Quicken. It can’t seem to remember what I told it when importing nor does it automatically update the category when I change the name.
There are also some reporting issues. For instance, I would like to see a custom report where I could see, for instance, all my donations by payee for the year. It helps me with my taxes.
Along with some speed issues, I assume they will take care of these things in time.
Given that, I stand by the web app comments I made above. The implications of online applications going mainstream is still huge!