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HOW QUICKLY FRIEND CAN turn to foe. Intuit, still reeling from the collapsed $2 billion merger deal with Microsoft, may find its flagship program, Quicken, under attack. From whom? Microsoft.
On Aug. 24, Microsoft will launch a revamped version of Microsoft Money for Windows 95. That's the personal-finance program Microsoft offered to Novell to quell the Justice Dept.'s fears of lack of market competition. People who saw a rough demonstration of the new version say Money will be very easy for first-time users. A much improved Money would pose a strong threat to Quicken, especially if Windows 95 lives up to its billing.
Meanwhile, during the six-month negotiations with Intuit, Microsoft managed to hire away a top Intuit sales guy, Stephen Schiro, now vice-president of Microsoft's End User Customer Unit.
Intuit CEO Scott Cook is at a slight loss to describe the situation he's in: "When we announced the deal, everyone was saying `Congratulations.' Now that the deal is off, people are saying `Congratulations."'