I decided to check this out for myself.
So off I hopped to the Sage Live website (which appeared on Google BELOW Duane's blog post - somewhat worrying).
The website itself wouldn't have encouraged me to try Sage Live. It's very wordy and the text is in tiny print.
And it took me several clicks to find the "try now" button - and when I clicked on it, the website just hung.
Now I am not anti-Sage like the owner of this site is anti-QuickBooks. I've done the Sage accreditation, for Pete's sake. And when properly used, Sage is not a bad product.
But I have to say that I think Sage are being a bit clueless here.
For one thing, if the Sage Live offering is going to seriously compete with the likes of KashFlow, WinWeb, Xero and all the other small business online accounting software that's out there now, its site needs to be a lot more user-friendly. No long paragraphs of tiny-printed guffy text.
And for another thing, if they've (very sensibly) taken the beta trial down while they repair its security features, then they should surely put a page on their site to say it's not available, not just leave the site hanging?
Come on Sage, you've got good competition out there now, smarten your act up.
UPDATE: I just went back to the Sage Live website and they have now put a page to say the beta isn't available. But their text, again, is very guffy.
And, it doesn't actually say anywhere that the site is down!!
Here it is:
Sage Live is beta. This means that we’re going to continue to develop our service to make sure we give you the best possible experience. This may mean that, from time to time, we have to make changes to the site in response to your valuable feedback, and where required, this may mean that we have to take the site down while we work on it.
If you need to create invoices while the site is unavailable, we have some new invoicing software that is completely free of charge, so why not give it a try.
We’re working hard to make sure that we offer the best possible experience through Sage Live. We hope that you’ll continue to use our service, and we’ll let you know once the site is back up and running.
If you have any questions about Sage Live please email us firstname.lastname@example.org