Intuit has announced results of its own tests which show the companys TurboTax software and the accompanying SafeCast copy-protection software from Macrovision do not negatively affect a users PC.
Intuit-funded tests conducted by PCTest Corp., generally confirmed testing performed by ExtremeTech, with a notable exception.
Intuits results found that the SafeCast software used within the TurboTax software uses less than a megabyte of RAM, and continues to run after TurboTax is closed or after TurboTax is uninstalled. However, the firm found that SafeCase does not disable a users CD-RW or CD-ROM drive, and “does not affect the performance of the computer differently than any other similar size program”.
The tests also do not seem to have detected the SafeCasts software ability to write to the boot sector of the hard disk, as ExtremeTech tests did.
“Were working with Macrovision to modify the current product activation mechanism,” an Intuit spokesman responded by email, when asked to comment. “Next year, we want to make sure it will not be memory-resident nor will it have any writing to the first section of a customers hard drive.”
PCTest concluded that the SafeCast technology can not be considered “spyware” and does not send any information to Intuit during the activation process.
Interestingly, PCTest found that SafeCast operates differently on systems running Windows 98 than on systems using Windows XP. “SafeCast uses a small amount (~24K) of RAM (Random Access Memory) under Win 98 and Win ME and a larger (~1MB) amount of RAM under Win XP and Win2K,” PCTest reported.
“Yes, SafeCast consumes RAM on WinXP and Win2K even if TurboTax is not running,” the firm added. “SafeCast does not consume RAM on Win 98 and Win ME until TurboTax is launched. However, SafeCast will continue to use this RAM even after closing TurboTax.”