What keeps me using Windows at home?

Could be several things, but it’s not.

Games?  No.  I just don’t play games anymore, and I don’t feel like I’ve really missed anything, even if they are really cool once in a while.  I am just not a gamer.

Office apps, like Outlook?  No.  I barely check e-mail at home, and it’s all web-based anyway.

Any Active Directory stuff?  No, although I figure I could get Samba working with it well enough if I had to – sounds like an interesting day project.

No, what keeps me tied, ever so tenuously, to Windows is TurboTax.  I have looked everywhere, but cannot find a viable equivalent.  Due to my more complex filing needs, I cannot use the online version – I have to get the boxed retail premium version.  I do not use any other software from Intuit.  And, in their defense, I have to say that despite being forced to use TurboTax due to a seeming lack of alternatives, the software itself is a real pleasure to work with – the user-interface is extremely friendly and intuitive.  At least it is not built like Windows…

It would be nice if Intuit would port TurboTax to Linux, or  if there were a Linux-alternative to TurboTax that was feature-rich enough to handle more substantial filing needs.  I already pay – I would happily continue to pay for a Linux version (provided the price was comparable to that of the Windows version).

If this were the case, I could scrap my Windows VMWare virtual machine – loading TurboTax on it is not what takes time.  Patching it is what takes time – I use it so infrequently that it gets seriously out-of-date and I need to patch it, rebooting the VM at least half-a-dozen times in general.  Add to that the frustration of having it blue-screen because an update borked it, forcing me to roll-it-back, and you can see why I feel as I do.  Honestly, TurboTax is one of those critical must-have applications for my home, even if it is just once a year.

It is the only single thing left for which I keep Windows around.

3 Responses

  1. I have heard from others that TurboTax can run on Linux. Unfortunately, I don’t have the details, but I’m sure you could do some googling to find out more. I have had conversations with the Linux community and clearly remember them saying they were successfully using TurboTax on Linux.

    Bob Meighan
    VP, TurboTax

  2. Hi Bob. Yes, I spent quite a while Googling a solution on Linux, but what I found was at best a smattering of mostly-ok, but not-quite-all-there, WINE-based successes, marred only by what appeared to be minor glitches and annoyances. Usually this is stuff I can put up with, but when it comes to doing my taxes, I don’t need glitches. Still, I’ll start a little earlier next time if there is still no Linux-based solution, and try to work out a solid, repeatable, documented WINE setup that works for TurboTax if I cannot find one. I know the Linux population size probably works against us economically in justifying a Linux-based release of TurboTax, but I’ll bet doing so could garner a lot of attention – who knows, there might be a way to make it work…

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I need 2 find a patch for turbo tax in linux

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