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Quicken upgrade stumbles

Users who received advance copies find themselves unable to log on to online banking services thanks to a server upgrade installed just prior to launch.

The early bird gets the worm, the saying goes, but in the case of Quicken 98, the early bird just got a bug.

Users who received advance copies of Intuit's Quicken 98 financial services software, which officially launched October 23, found themselves unable to log on to Quicken's online banking services thanks to a server upgrade the company installed just prior to the launch.

Intuit has received 500 complaints on the issue so far.

While bugs are not unusual for a new release and this one affects only a limited number of users, it nevertheless strikes at the heart of Quicken 98's major change: Unlike prior versions that had users connect to their banking instututions through a dial-up connection, the upgrade does so through the Internet.

Intuit modified the server to help home users access online banking from corporate networks, and only users who launched Quicken 98 prior to the modification experienced the problem, according to Intuit. The company posted a fix last night.

Quicken 98 users reported other difficulties with the upgrade, including problems connecting to the server. Intuit spokespeople acknowledged that the server had been down several times since the launch, but said they did not expect that problem to persist.