Intuit “Reboots” TurboTax

Intuit “Reboots” TurboTax. By tim

I can't imagine a more potent “news from the future” story that underlines how the web is becoming the new software platform than today's New York Times report that Intuit compared the temporary shutdown of TurboTax yesterday to a software reboot:

Some TurboTax users encountered a brief filing delay Monday afternoon when the software maker Intuit Inc. shut down its computer system to prepare for the heavier volume of electronic tax filing expected later in the evening.

Intuit spokeswoman Julie Miller equated the move to the rebooting of a PC and said the company decided to do the ''preventative maintenance'' before the system could potentially slow to a crawl for the inevitable thousands of last-minute tax filers.

Steve Bellovin, who posted this news to Dave Farber's IP list, wrote: “To me, that smells of buggy code, and probably a resource leak. Of course, I don't know if it's Intuit's software or the underlying OS.” I'm not sure it matters which — what the news does suggest, though, that as Web 2.0 matures, it will be subject to many of the same aches and pains as other software systems. What's more, it suggests just how important operational competency is going to be in the Web 2.0 era. When a Web application crashes, it crashes for everyone. As they become mission-critical, Web 2.0 applications need a much higher level of fail-safe.  [O'Reilly Radar]

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