Color me surprised! When an unexpected email from Intuit sent to all Quicken for Mac customers landed in my inbox, I assumed it was more warnings about avoiding an upgrade to Lion or discounts off other Intuit products to which I could migrate. Quicken for Mac 2007 and earlier versions were engineered for PowerPC-based systems, and require the Rosetta compatibility layer to run, which Apple neither updated for nor includes with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
Instead, Intuit’s Aaron Forth, the general manager for the personal finance group, signed a letter (not available online) that reads in part:
I am happy to announce that we will have a solution that makes Quicken 2007 for Mac “Lion-compatible” by early spring. There are still details to be worked out, so I ask your continued patience as we work through these.
The company has posted a FAQ about the “Lion Compatible Quicken for Mac 2007.” You will be able to convert data files created in Quicken for Mac 2005, 2006, and 2007 editions with the Lion-compatible version while booted into Lion. Interestingly, Intuit will also let you convert Quicken Essentials for Mac data files to work with the Lion-compatible version of Quicken for Mac 2007. (Importing those data files into Quicken Essentials for Mac requires 10.6 Snow Leopard or earlier, as noted in a now-outdated FAQ.)
This is great news for those who rely on Quicken and haven’t been able to find a Lion-compatible replacement. I’m running Snow Leopard Server in VMware Fusion to maintain access to Quicken 2007, since I haven’t yet found a replacement that meets my personal and small-business needs with the right mix of recording and reporting.
Of course, for those who have already switched to another financial application, Intuit’s announcement is too little, too late. And even then, a number of commenters expressed long-standing frustration with Intuit’s lackluster support for the Mac versions of its products. Perhaps this announcement marks a notable change of heart for Intuit, but we are still talking about merely making the 2007 version compatible with the version of Mac OS X released in 2011.
We’ve written three articles about Quicken and Lion this year. The first explains Intuit’s notions about how to deal with a lack of a Lion-compatible version, and the other two suggest how you would go about finding a replacement for Quicken.