I really liked this post by Larry Dignan over at ZDNet. Though I believe , Larry brings up a good point: Microsoft has been talking about a connected desktop-plus-web world for many years, while Intuit has been quietly demonstrating how it's done:
In this vision, Microsoft takes its applications, hooks them up with Web services, creates a competitive advantage and layers in advertising. Intuit's spin on this plan is "connected services." The big difference: Intuit is delivering without getting caught up in advertising. Microsoft is getting around to it. Is the comparison fair? Yes. Intuit is clearly more focused and Microsoft is much larger. But the playbook is the same. It's all in the execution.
Intuit has the same desktop legacy to overcome, and yet it is running circles around Microsoft in web services momentum. It has aggressively moved to the web, while still holding its place firmly on the desktop.
This is a matter of will, not a matter of strategy. Microsoft has the same strategy in mind. It just hasn't demonstrated the will to truly connect the web to its dominant desktop.