Archives » February 18th, 2003

February 18, 2003

Boycott TurboTax

Ed Foster’s Gripe Line is reporting that a lot of readers are up in arms, demanding a boycott of TurboTax software because it uses Product Activation. I’ve never used tax software before (I keep my life simple enough that I’ve never needed anything more than a 1040EZ), but this seems to just be the latest in a long line of compaints against Intuit. I’m sure that when the day comes that I am in the market for tax software, I’ll remember the name “Intuit”. And not in a good way.

I’ve been against the idea of Product Activation from the start, anyway. It’s always been a “Guilty until proven innocent” way of treating piracy that has never made much sense to me. It’s bad enough that Microsoft legitimized its use, but now to see that other companies are jumping on the bandwagon — that takes my concern to a new level. TurboTax exists in a much more competitive environment that Windows or Office, though, so there’s hope that some combination of a boycott and ordinary users getting fed up will place market pressure on Intuit, and persuade them to drop it. Monopoly software might be able to get away with it, but there’s no reason for anybody else to.

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