Error OL-301-A

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I've been using Quicken since the early 1990s and really enjoy it. I dont understand why I still cant use my quicken 2012 or now my 2012? I get error # L-301 A and says that my financial institution is rejecting my request. So I go to my bank and see the IT manager. He says that he hasnt rejected anything, checks everything that he can and even says that his bank pays Intuit over $3000. per year to use their format. I then call a support line and he says that he cant fix it, I need to upgrade to the newest version. I use to give Quicken the highest ratings on line and to every business owner I knew. I've even used Quick Books Pro and it wont even work anymore. I know these programs, all of their functions and have been accustomed to them over my many years using them, butI'm pretty upset with the quality of the product failing now days and the horrible ability of support for the product. I'm about to just use accel or just some other product that my bank will work with. 
I plead to the management of Intuit to support all of us that have enjoyed and depended on this wonderful product over the many years, please dont let its reputation drop and phase out of the industry and another competitor take its place. 
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Bruce Moreau

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Posted 1 year ago

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Claudine H.

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I've been using Quicken since 1990.  You need to buy a new Quicken every 3 years to be able to use online features. My last Quicken was 2013 then I was required to get Q 2016.  It happens every 3 years and we have to live with it.  What I hate now is the Intuit ID & password when we install a version of Q. we've been using on a new computer. When I get an error, try again later, I forget I need to download the latest mondo patch. The screen doesn't say that and it would help a lot if it did!  Quicken became an independent company run by Eric Dunn, backed by H.I.G. Capital early 2016, so things had become different then. Refer to this:
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Sharon Boling

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If it is not a typo and you are really using 2012, then it's not surprising that it no longer works to download information. Each version only is supported for three years. Anything prior to 2015 won't be supported.
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Elaine Shute

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"what does this mean?"  I forget I need to download the latest mondo patch. 
I too have  used Qkn for over 20 years & this is the 1st time I cannot make it work like it used too-& agree why won't they acknowledge these problems?
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And if you think you are upset that the current download life for Quicken is "only" three years before you need to year Quicken will be moving to an annual subscription product license.

Therefore you'll need to pay EVERY year to continue to download transactions and security prices.  And if you don't renew, Quicken will resort to "limited functionality mode"...which is corporate speak for your Quicken product will be disabled and you won't be able to even add transactions manually.

We're all gonna have fun with that. 
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I don't think Microsoft is going to get back into the desktop personal finance software, they got out of it because they found it wasn't profitable enough for them.

BTW if you a person willing to go to manual mode, then you might want to consider QIF imports.  These are not cutoff with the discontinuation policy.
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Bruce Moreau

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THats what I'm going to is the manual input....thanks. 
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@Bruce Moreau

I'm wondering, if I paid you $49, would you be willing to provide me with a weekly report of whether the sun is shining (nothing difficult) for the rest of my life?  I'm guessing not, but you expect Quicken to do so.

With respect to online banking, you got your money's worth a long time ago.
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@splasher  I actually think (and I certainly could be wrong) Bruce Moreau's point (from other comments in this thread) is that his financial institution is paying $3000 a year for the service, and that he should get "their money's" worth.

Of course that isn't how it really works in the real world.  Quicken Inc is still paying Intuit, and Quicken inc isn't going to continue to provide this service to him on his old version of Quicken forever, because it costs them money.
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Let me say that there are definitely emotional, and logical aspects to this.

On one level yes I hate the idea that Intuit and even Quicken Inc gets paid for some pretty poor systems.  And yes, on the surface the fact that they have managed to get money out of both the Quicken consumer and the financial institution seems "over priced".

But on the other hand if I want to sell a product it is I that determines the price and what model I will use to get that money.  If I guess low on the amount people are willing to provide I have to live with less profits, or maybe even going out of business.
If I guess too high they won't buy.  "Just right" in a business is what the market will bear.  Clearly even if we don't like the price/way that Quicken Inc/Intuit is getting their money, it has been working for them, at least in the past.  Now that Quicken Inc is moving to a subscription model it seems that things are shifting, but not necessarily in direction of the consumer, more in Quicken Inc needs more money to satisfy its new owners.  Or at least a more consistent cash flow.

We can all hate this all we want, but Quicken Inc and Intuit will continue to do it as long as they are making money.  And it is them that determine the "how much, is enough", not us.  Well it is us, but only in the sense of are you willing to change to something else?

And Quicken Inc doesn't need everyone to buy into this.  It can probably loose all the "3 year buyers", and still be getting more money overall.

I have seen this many times in big companies, and in Intuit, and in Quicken Inc, they work on a priority system.  And what that basically comes down to is "we will never satisfy everyone so as long as say 90% of the customers are OK with it, our work is done.".

For me on a personal level, I in fact don't really need Quicken or any desktop personal finances software any more.  At times in my life I considered it "vital", but not any more.  But it is nice to have and I will continue to use it, because in fact by avoiding the things I know cause problems (and I don't really need them anyways), Quicken for the most part doesn't give me problems.

Sure I have a Macy's credit card and three Syncrony accounts that are on Express Web Connect that start throwing errors every few months, but they are very low volume as far as transactions are concerned. Like each has about one or two transactions a month.  So I just turn the update off and go on.

The Online Bill presentment worked for a while and was pretty nice, but not nice enough for me to risk it corrupting my data file again.

I think the saddest part of Quicken is that people see all these features (what is fluff to a lot of users here) and actually want to use them, and they don't work right for a lot of them.  But again Quicken Inc isn't looking for these features to work for everyone, they are looking to make them work for "most people".

And that has worked for them.  Express Web Connect by its nature is error prone, and a constant task to try to keep up with the financial institutions changing things.
But without it only about 2,500 financial institutions would be supported out more than 30,000 financial institutions in the US alone.  I do believe that if Intuit didn't do that they would have had a lot less customers.  Now mind you the customers they would have retained would most likely be a lot happier, but that isn't what really counts.

There is where being an engineer and wanting something to work right, doesn't always line up with what is the best for the business.
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Personally I look at a bit differently.

I think Quicken customers have been "skating" for a very long time.  They have been paying very small amount of money for a very costly service, and then on top of that complaining when that costly support doesn't go on forever.

People have been able to pick up Quicken for $40 on discount, and use if for 3 to 3.5 years with downloading of transactions.  At 3 years that is about $1.11 per month.  Or maybe a bit more if they didn't know to pick it up at bargain prices.

The same people have claimed that a program like Quicken is essential for their finances.  And still they think any cost is "outrageous".

So sure if you take this three year cost or even worse "pay once, get online services for life".  Any cost is going to be "outrageous".  Where in fact the subscription price for the Canadian version is less than what they would pay for one year of the old price model.  So if people were upgrading every year the price would be reduced.

What's more it seems that people are forgetting the fact people were basically asking the new company to staff up the development group (especially on the Mac side), they were complaining about the support being "foreign", and even if you personally have not asked for Morning Star X-ray portfolio, downloading loan accounts, mobile, online bill presentment, Zillow estimates, ... there were certainly enough of the other Quicken customers asking for those things, and they aren't free.

And Quicken Inc doesn't need have to have all these "loyal" customers.  The people that were already buying Quicken every year would have a reduced price, so that certainly wouldn't be a reason to leave for them.  For the people paying every two years is would be a modest increase, so I would say most if not all of them would upgrade if price is the only factor.  And yes there will be even some of the "three year customers" that will upgrade.

That would be more than enough customers to get at least the same amount of revenue.

To me the biggest factor is the not being able to add transactions if the person doesn't keep up the subscription.  And frankly not because people wouldn't keep up the subscriptions, but just because this kind of thing really makes people nervous.

As for Quicken Inc going out of business in 5 years.  It might happen, but it might have happened if they don't go to the subscription model.  In fact I would venture to say that one of the reasons they are trying this is because it might have started to be clear to them that their was no way to staff up to the levels needed to really get where they wanted without something changing.

The subscription model in one stroke, gets rid of the supporting people that barely supported Quicken, it reduces the number of versions they have to maintain, and yes most likely increases the revenue that they will make.
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Finally talked to a Quicken customer service person that was able to detail the steps to resolve the OL-301-A issue I had with *all* my accounts once I switched from Quicken 2014 to Quicken 2017:
- "Tools" menu > "Online Center"
- CTRL + SHIFT + with mouse click "Contact Info" (at the top of the window) 
- select problem account in the drop down menu
- check box "Financial Institution Branding and Profile"
- click "Refresh"
- click "Update/Send"
- update the account
- do this for every account

Glad that I was able to connect to Arianne at Quicken.

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Bruce Moreau

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But I really like my Quicken 2012, I bought it and have happily used it  since then, I know it well and it worked for me, I guess until Intuit decided to design a way for it to stop working for me and force functions on my program not to function like as they were designed to do and as I was led to believe that they would.
My opinion is that this is wrong, just like some of the other large coorporations that are misleading people like Wells Fargo and others...... just my opinion.  
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Quicken Inc didn't disable the timer, it stopped providing the coffee.
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Bruce Moreau

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I dont expect you to understand... move on. 
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Yes you are correct I will never understand the belief that someone should get a service for life, for no cost.  Downloaded transactions isn't a timer, it is a service, with on going costs to Quicken Inc.  They aren't going to give it to you for free.  No more than Intuit is going to give it to Quicken Inc for free.
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Bruce Moreau

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Ok..... let me draw you a with picture with colors this time. Just my small credit union pays $3000.00 every year..(EVERY YEAR) to Quicken to have the service for their customers to be able to download their transactions. Thats why when you get the error that everyones talking about here it says to contact your financial institution.
How much do much larger banks pay for this service that us quicken users still cant use when its part of of banks service to us?
Sorry, didnt mean to make this so complicated for you.... really, just let it go.  
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Just because your financial institution pays something for the service doesn't mean that it covers Intuit's full cost (it might, it might not) and especially not for Quicken Inc, which is in fact being charged by Intuit for it services.

I have no idea about the price model of the services, but I do know one thing for sure,  Quicken Inc doesn't get any of the money that Intuit collects, and it gets charged on top of that.

But of course we might go back to when this was all Intuit and say that it is outrageous.  But I will again point out that Microsoft didn't have this business model, and dropped MS Money because it wasn't profitable enough.  And now since about a year ago Intuit basically dropped it too.  They need the connections to the financial institutions for Quickbooks.  And so they kept Express Web Connect and such in place, and charge Quicken Inc for it.  So maybe they are making out as bandits.

But it is clear that at least for a business of that size, one that can keep the communications open to so many fianacial institutions, they have decided that they need payments from both the financial institutions and the Quicken users.

Intuit greedy?  Most likely.  In a way that is a definition of a business.

But it probably also is the main reason that Quicken still exists.
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@QPW: Riddle me this, since this topic is in your wheelhouse.

Here's what I think I understand about Quicken connectivity (please correct me if I'm mistaken):

Direct Connect: Your login data is stored in your Quicken password vault and your FI's servers. When you fire up Quicken and initiate a One Step Update, Quicken on your desktop pings your FI directly with your creds and retrieves any new transactions. Intuit/Quicken's Inc.'s server infrastructure is not required or used for downloading with DC

Express Web Connect: Your login data is also stored in Intuit/Quicken Inc.'s servers, which log into your FI a couple of times a day, essentially as your proxy, download any new transactions, and store them in the corner of the Intuit/Quicken Inc. server reserved just for little old you.

The next time you fire up Quicken and initiate a One Step Update, Quicken retrieves the transactions stored in the Intuit/Quicken Inc. servers -- the ones that they retrieved from your FI knowing this moment would come. Intuit/Quicken's Inc.'s server infrastructure is required and is used for downloading with EWC

Web Connect: You open up a web browser, like in ye olden days, sign into your FI, manually download a QFX file to your desktop after waiting for the man with the white snowy beard to chisel it into the granite tablet, and then open the QFX on your computer. Any new transactions import into Quicken. Intuit/Quicken's Inc.'s server infrastructure is not required or used for downloading with WC

So, assuming that my understanding of the process for downloading transactions into Quicken is accurate, it seems curious to me that Quicken/Intuit/Whoever charges FIs for Direct Connect, not for Express Web Connect.

Shouldn't it be the other way around? After all, isn't it EWC that's requiring Intuit/Quicken Inc.'s server infrastructure and resources?
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@mistertheplague History and marker pressures are the answer.

"Direct Connect" is actually the OFX protocol "with a few more fields".
The OFX protocol was created by Intuit, Microsoft, Checkfree, and "the financial institutions".

Microsoft used the protocol directly unchanged, and didn't charge for it.
Intuit went a different route, they created their "sub OFX" protocol (QFX) and charged financial institutions for it.  And they could do this because at the time it was Intuit/Quicken that had most of the customers.

Now this isn't quite as "evil" as it sounds because they actually do provide a lot of support with testing and verifying that the financial institution's OFX servers worked, and other such support.

But more to the point, look at the outcome.  Microsoft didn't charge, and the price of MS Money to the consumer was about the same price as Quicken.  Microsoft dropped MS Money because it wasn't profitable to them.  Quicken is still around.
Who had the better business model?

Now at its high about 4,500 financial institutions were supported by Direct Connect.
But there are over 30,000 financial institutions.  That number is now down to about 2,500.  Most credit unions dropped out and even recently even big financial institutions have at least tried to drop it (Well Fargo for instance).

And this is very understandable for the smaller financial institutions.  Quicken users like to think of themselves as this "large force", but in the scheme of things, they are usually a very small percentage of a financial institution's customer base.  So the financial institutions certainly have to weigh the cost to benefit.

So fast forward a few years and the writing is on the wall.  If Intuit wanted to keep its customers it had to do something different.  And that is where Express Web Connect is born.  It isn't "bought off" in any kind of standard/agreement.  And by this time most financial institutions were providing at least minimal websites for their customers, and basically could say "Intuit you want to get at our customer's data, you play by our rules, not yours".  The tables had turned.

So why could Intuit continue to charge for Direct Connect?

Well if look at this forum for even a short period of time I think it is obvious.
Direct Connect is extremely reliable, and Express Web Connect by its nature isn't.

So Quicken users do push the financial institutions to us it.  And there is also most likely the big business "law of motion" kicking in.  As in a project already funded, tends to keep getting funded.
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QPW, thanks for your perspective. Insightful as usual.

Your interpretation makes sense; the logistics don't. At least not to me. If I'm a bank president and I get a bill from Quicken for something that doesn't tax their resources, but I don't get a bill for something that does, I'm scratching my head.

No matter. Everything in life doesn't have to make sense.
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Yeah it is pretty convoluted.  But in a way that accurately describes how I feel about the whole mess.

And not just for Quicken/Quicken Inc/Intuit it.

These days it isn't just the personal finance programs that want to share this kind of information, it is the financial institutions themselves that want to provide it to their customers.  But there isn't any standard for it like there is for instance for ACH transfers.  So all of this "ad hock" approaches are painful on everyone.
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Bruce Moreau

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My small credit union pays around $3000.00 each year to Intuit for their customers that use quicken to be able to use Intuits downloading program, which is the problem here. I'm understanding that I have to upgrade my quicken program every three years just to make this downloading function work properly. I was perfectly happy with my Quicken 95 years ago. 
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Do you realize that Quicken isn't owned by Intuit any more?

Do you realize that Quicken Inc is a customer of Intuit?
Quicken Inc pays Intuit for the Express Web Connect aggregation.

And yes Intuit was "double dipping" charging both the financial institutions, but you should notice that Microsoft choose not to go with that model, and eventually stopped making MS Money because it didn't make them enough money.

But there is something else behind getting you off of your old version of Quicken.
Support multiple versions is very costly, and it gets more costly the older the version of Quicken is.  There is everything from having to keep old protocols and such working instead of being able to use new ones.  There are security concerns as the old programs can't keep up. There is the testing of all the old programs for compatibility with the current processes.  There is the training of customer support.  The list goes on and one.
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volvogirl, SuperUser

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Bruce, Just a question, had you been downloading to Quicken 2012 all this time?  Gosh you must have got really lucky and been on a server they didn't turn off.  2012 was sunsetted 2 years ago in April 2015.  Each year they turn off all online services for the 3 year old version.  So like just this past April 30 they just discontinued the 2014 version.  

I don't see anyone posted this support link,  Quicken Discontinuation Policy
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QPW, I also wanted to comment on something you wrote upthread: "But more to the point, look at the outcome. Microsoft didn't charge, and the price of MS Money to the consumer was about the same price as Quicken. Microsoft dropped MS Money because it wasn't profitable to them. Quicken is still around. Who had the better business model?"
It's a point I've seen you make in a handful of other threads. I take the thrust of what you're saying to be, essentially: "Look folks, this practice (Intuit/Quicken charging the banks) might look unseemly from the outside, but businesses need $ to stay in business. Microsoft didn't charge the banks and look what happened to MS Money."

If I had to quibble, I'd flip the order of cause and effect, i.e., MSFT's failure to charge the banks for Money-OFX downloads was the effect of Money's status as also-ran to Quicken more than its cause.

For one thing, Microsoft would have loved to have been able to gouge the banks for the privilege of downloading data into MS Money. Just ask Bill Gates; he was hardly secretive about it.

MSFT didn't charge the banks because they couldn't, and they couldn't because Money at its zenith never commanded more than 20-25% of the desktop PFM market.

And it wasn't for lack of trying. Microsoft spent many zeroes developing Money, supporting it, and integrating the program into the MSFT product network.

So, how did Quicken come to dominate the Windows PFM market in the face of competition from the original 800-pound gorilla? Despite Microsoft getting PC manufacturers to stuff MS Money in their computers before shipping them? Despite Intuit not even having a Windows product when they learned of Microsoft's plans to release MS Money for Windows 3.1. ? The history is interesting.

Here's my explanation, and it had little to do with the banks: Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit, was a marketing genius and a very smart businessman. He made Quicken as well known as Ivory soap, and he just flat-out understood the emerging fintech business a lot better than the suits in Redmond.

Cook also understood that users would rather be waterboarded in a pool of rat urine than change personal finance software, so whoever got to a customer first had a serious retention advantage.

To that end, when Cook learned of MS Money's impending launch, he implemented a crash program at Intuit to deliver Quicken for Windows 3.1 to market. He then proactively offered a direct rebate to customers (something never before done in retail software sales).

But as importantly (maybe more importantly), he offered rebates to software distributors and software retailers.

You'd have to be of a certain vintage, to put it gently, to remember the central role brick and mortar software retailers played at one point in time. (Anyone remember Egghead Software?)

Cook comped the retailers to hype the upcoming Quicken for Windows 3.1 and to push pre-release sales. Microsoft countered by lowering the price of MS Money, which was good for the customer but screwed the distributors and vendors, as it chewed into their already-slim margins.

Quicken already had stellar brand-name recognition from its DOS and Mac product lines. There was real buzz about the upcoming release of Quicken for Windows. Once QW left the starting gate, it sailed past MS Money and never once saw the rear-end of its arch-nemesis.

By 1996, after Microsoft had been sued by DOJ and subsequently backed out of a $2.4 billion deal to buy Intuit, Quicken had a 7:1 user advantage over MS Money. Microsoft would later improve on that, some, but not by enough to matter.

There's some indication that Microsoft might have hung on to MS Money. But in the financial calamity of 2008, MSFT -- like a lot of companies -- had to rethink their priorities.

So here we are, in the uncompetitive wasteland anti-trust regulators wrung their hands over back in 1995 when they hauled Microsoft into court.
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@mistertheplague very good run down on it.

I never really went into the marketing share, and I should have like you did.  Frankly I didn't even know the full story of how Quicken became so dominant, I always just figured it was because they got there first.

And yeah you asked me why did/does Intuit charge the financial institutions for Direct Connect, but not Express Web Connect, well I suppose I should have just said "because they could", they had what the fianacial institutions wanted, the majority of these customers.  That was true at the time that Direct Connect was created, but by the time Express Web Connect came around they lost that advantage, in that they are now competing with the financial institution's services too.

And it worked for them, and frankly is continuing to work at least for Intuit.

It is an interesting perspective that Microsoft couldn't do it.  But now that you mention it, that makes perfect sense.  And Intuit executed one of the rare take downs of Microsoft.

Microsoft was often late to the game.  They made up for it most of the time by either leveraging something they had (IE over Navigator because it was built into the operating system).  Or in fact they would start out with a terrible 1.0 product and still get people on board because business wanted a "big name".  And then once they figured out what was needed they would eventually make a good product.

If they failed that, they bought the competition or better yet (from their perspective) either stole the tech and dared the small guy to sue them or even brought their own lawsuits to crush them in the courts.  Do you know that the makers of the first "ZIP" program were one of the few small companies that sued Microsoft for stealing their patiented ideas and one

The DOJ of course crushed one of their main tools.

Note that Microsoft was late to the game for Mobile, and look where they are on that.

BTW on "Cook also understood that users would rather be waterboarded in a pool of rat urine than change personal finance software, so whoever got to a customer first had a serious retention advantage. "

It was even more than that.  Both Intuit and Microsoft created file formats that the others didn't know.  And neither of them were in a sharing mood.  There was no real good way to go between the two for most of the history.

At one point Microsoft did reverse engineer the Quicken format, but that was pretty late in the game.  And BTW there was nothing more than QIF to go the other way, and Quicken QIF imports of MS Money stink.  And for grins I tried the same from Quicken to MS Money recently and it couldn't even read the Quicken QIF file.

People might forget that the converter from MS Money to Quicken was written after MS Money was sunsetted.  And it was written by an ex MS Money developer.
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Someday soon, there WILL be another dominant product in this market.  Because some entrepreneurial soul will decide they have had enough and will take on the "giant" in the market and make a "better mousetrap". 
If you look at the other personal financial programs I don't think the roadblocks have been the desire, or the skill, certainly Microsoft wasn't lacking any of those.  I would mostly pin it down to one thing.

The BIG road block is how do you download for 30,000+ financial institutions if they won't agree on any standard to do it?

I think that landscape is now slowly changing.  Not because the financial institutions have made it easier.  But because their are more players now that have figured out they can do the same kind of things as Express Web Connect, and are willing to try to market that service.  It is still far from clear on how it will play out, but does seem like it is changing.
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Someday soon, there WILL be another dominant product in this market.
Would be nice. Competition is a benefit in most markets. 

Hope you're right. Some days, I even think you're right. Then I read the latest study confirming that 60-70% of Americans are still financially illiterate.

Here I am pounding the table that QW still won't let you customize your asset classes and the top-selling app on the iOS store is a game in which Lego figures chase each other around in mine carts. 
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Then I read the latest study confirming that 60-70% of Americans are still financially illiterate.
Well that is a different subject completely.  Which basically leads to the question of will the desktop personal finance software industry even survive.  I don't see it much more than a niche market, basically forever.

I see the strongest competition with Quicken not to be other desktop personal finance programs, but instead online services provided from the financial institutions, and services like Mint.

That is one of the things a lot of Quicken users never get.  They seem to think that they are a dominant force at their financial institution, and in truth they are usually very small minority.

Quicken has the majority of what seems to be a dying industry.

The "aggregators" that have come out and breathed life in possibility of a relatively small organization competing with Quicken didn't start doing it because of that industry.  They did it in response to industries like the financial advisors and the financial institutions needing these services.

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