QuickBooks Hosting Mistakes, Intuit – Microsoft Conspiracy

Intuit’s QuickBooks hosting mistakes may lead to the discovery of a new Intuit – Microsoft conspiracy. The companies have been frequent competitors, but there is proof of past cooperation and an Intuit – Microsoft conspiracy. There also is evidence of a new Intuit – Microsoft conspiracy. 

Intuit cooperated with a 1989 Microsoft offer to buy it. It also offered to bundle Intuit and Microsoft products. It rejected a Microsoft offer to license the Quicken name, for a Microsoft product, only because the price was low. Intuit agreed to merge with Microsoft in 1994. The U.S. Department of Justice blocked this takeover on monopoly grounds.

The U.S. vs. Microsoft case shows an Intuit – Microsoft conspiracy against Netscape. Here are part of the Court Findings.

316. … Intuit, for one, believed that placement on the Windows desktop would provide it with unparalleled promotional and distributional advantages. As a result, the company was prepared to pay a substantial fee for placement on the Channel Bar… Some ICPs, including Intuit, even admitted to Microsoft that inclusion on the Channel Bar was critical to them and asked what they would be obliged to pay to be included.

320. The first obligation that the ICPs undertook was to distribute Internet Explorer and no “Other Browser”…

Intuit – Microsoft conspiracy

321.  The Top Tier and Platinum agreements also required the signatory ICPs to promote Internet Explorer and no “Other Browser” as their “browser of choice.” In particular, the ICPs were required to display a logo for Internet Explorer and no “Other Browser” on the home page of the sites specified in the agreements and on any other pages on which the ICP typically displayed such links. The ICPs were also required to place Internet Explorer download links on their Web sites and to remove any links to Navigator’s download site.

Intuit – Microsoft conspiracy

322.  A third provision that the ICPs accepted in return for placement on the Channel Bar was a prohibition against their entering agreements with a vendor of an “Other Browser” whereby the ICPs would pay money or provide other consideration to the vendor in exchange for the vendor’s promotion of the ICP’s branded content. Finally, the agreements required the ICPs, in designing their Web sites, to employ certain Microsoft technologies such as Dynamic HTML and ActiveX. Some of the agreements actually required the ICPs to create “differentiated content” that was either available only to Internet Explorer users or would be more attractive when viewed with Internet Explorer than with any “Other Browser.” For example, the agreement with Intuit provided: “Some differentiated content may be available only to IE users, some may simply be ‘best when used with IE,’ with acceptable degradation when used with other browsers.”

Intuit – Microsoft conspiracy

323.  The ICPs were so intent on gaining placement on the Channel Bar that they even complied, albeit reluctantly, when Microsoft imposed restrictions not contained in the Top Tier and Platinum agreements… What Microsoft wanted to avoid were announcements suggesting that any of Microsoft’s ICP partners were also cooperating with Netscape.

324.  Intuit is a leading developer of software designed to help individuals and small businesses manage their finances. A consumer can use one of Intuit’s popular products by purchasing a copy of the software, but Intuit makes additional features available through its Quicken.com Web site. Thus, Intuit is both an ISV and an ICP. Beginning in late 1995, Intuit distributed Navigator with its products in order to ensure that its users could access the features provided through Quicken.com. In 1996, Microsoft commenced the process of converting Intuit from a Netscape partner to a distributor of Internet Explorer. In July of that year, Gates reported to other Microsoft executives on his attempt to convince Intuit’s CEO to distribute Internet Explorer instead of Navigator:

I made it clear to him that beyond giving him the best browser technology for no cost that we were only will[ing] to do some very modest favors in addition to that. . . . I was quite frank with him that if he had a favor we could do for him that would cost us something like $1M to do that in return for switching browsers in the next few months I would be open to doing that.

Intuit – Microsoft conspiracy

325.  Intuit did not accept Gates’ offer immediately, but less than a year later, in June 1997, Intuit became one of the ICPs to sign a Platinum agreement with Microsoft. This allowed Intuit to place a link to Quicken.com under the “Business” heading on Microsoft’s Channel Bar. In return, however, the agreement required Intuit to distribute Internet Explorer, and no “Other Browser,” with its software products, including those not distributed through the Channel Bar. Intuit also agreed to the other terms, relating to the promotion of browsing technologies, business relationships with Netscape, and the adoption of Internet Explorer technologies, that applied to the other Top Tier and Platinum ICPs.

Intuit – Microsoft conspiracy

326.  Microsoft would have granted Intuit a license to distribute the componentized version of Internet Explorer at no charge even if Intuit had not entered a Platinum Agreement. In the absence of the agreement’s restrictive terms, in fact, Intuit likely would have distributed the componentized version of Internet Explorer with its products while simultaneously promoting Navigator and distributing to consumers who requested it a version of Navigator specially- configured for Intuit’s products. The only way Intuit could gain a place on the Channel Bar, however, was by agreeing to the provisions that required it to limit its promotion of Navigator, to cease distributing that browser altogether, and to refuse to pay Netscape to promote Intuit products on Netscape’s Web sites. Intuit accepted these terms reluctantly, for Navigator remained a popular product with consumers, and Netscape’s Web sites still attracted a great deal of traffic.

Intuit – Microsoft conspiracy

Intuit founder Scott Cook provided and confirmed all the details of this Intuit – Microsoft conspiracy in Court testimony. Please subscribe to the http://QuickBooks-Blog.com/ (top right) for details of the new Intuit – Microsoft conspiracy and big QuickBooks hosting mistakes.


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