As my colleague Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols is reporting, Intuit is opting to get a bit cozier with Linux. It's an eye-catching announcement, considering that lukewarm Linux support from Windows-centric application vendors like Intuit remains one of the biggest strikes against the open-source operating system as a mainstream desktop platform.
Curbing my enthusiasm somewhat is the fact that Intuit's forthcoming Linux-friendly product is the server-based QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. Linux has grown into such a mainstream part of the server firmament that what's more surprising than Intuit's choice to add Linux support is the fact that the financial software maker doesn't support Linux servers already.
It'll be quite a bit more ground-shaking when Intuit opts to build client software for Linux. For someone, like me, who's interested in seeing plenty of platform competition in the marketplace, the most troubling aspect of Microsoft's Windows monopoly is the way it dissuades application developers from adding smaller or up-and-coming OS options to their support matrices.
For Linux users unsatisfied with the free financial software that's available for their platform of choice--GnuCash and KMyMoney both come to mind--the Web offers the best hope for running applications that don't care what operating system you run.
eWEEK Labs' Cameron Sturdevant has just reviewed two promising Web-based productivity applications, Google Apps and WebEx WebOffice, both of which deliver this sort of flexibility for productivity tasks.
I'm less familiar with the state of the art in Web-based money management applications. Any suggestions?