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Intuit Plans Lion-Compatible Quicken 2007 Update

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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 (Importing those data files into Quicken Essentials for Mac requires 10.6 Snow Leopard or earlier, as noted in a now-outdated FAQ.)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.

 

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Comments about Intuit Plans Lion-Compatible Quicken 2007 Update

Michael Schmitt  2011-12-23 12:23
That's not how I interpret the FAQ. As I read it:

- You can directly open data files from Quicken 2005, 2006 or 2007 in the new program. No conversion is necessary.

- If you previously migrated data to Quicken Essentials, you will be able to migrate that file back to the Quicken 2007 format.
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-12-22 14:41
Silly me: I read the wrong paragraph in the FAQ. There's one about Quicken Essentials for Macintosh (which runs under Lion) and another about Quicken 2005, 2006, and 2007 for Mac (which do not).

The article has been revised and updated.
SSteve  2011-12-22 17:13
I was completely shocked to read this email from Intuit. I think these sentences are also worth quoting: "…I am committed to creating products to help you reach your financial goals. I recognize, however, that we have not always delivered on this promise to Quicken Mac customers." and "Working toward a Quicken for Mac 2007 solution is just a first step in winning back your confidence."

I can't remember the last time I heard news from Intuit that didn't leave my blood boiling. I am really hoping they can pull this off and that they make good on their promise to deliver quality modern Mac products.
Peter DeGroot  2011-12-22 18:52
Whoopee! Quicken is finally going to update a 5-year old version of Quicken with far less capability than the current Windows version so it will run on Lion. I do not think Intuit has served Mac users well, and I personally have found alternatives to Quicken and other Intuit products.

The other thing that irked me about their email announcement is that they did not include an Unsubscribe link: a basic breach of courtesy and consideration.
Here is the direct link to update your contact prefs for ALL Intuit products: https://privacy.intuit.com/cpi/do/signin
Charlie  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2011-12-23 18:31
I thought the most interesting part of the letter was the following: "Working toward a Quicken for Mac 2007 solution is just a first step in winning back your confidence. We are expanding our development team to continue our renewed focus on personal finance solutions that suit the needs of our Mac customers."

Honestly at this point I have no real interest in moving back to Quicken 2007 from the Windows 2010 version running under CrossOver – in fact I moved away from 2007 before Lion compatibility was an issue. If, however, Intuit releases a new Mac version that matched the features of the Windows versions I'd take a look. Unfortunately, they have a long way to go.
Former Quicken User  2011-12-24 09:12
Is it just me? I remember reading when Lion was about to be released that Intuit was considering licensing the Rosetta emulation technology from Apple, and implementing it in Quicken for Mac.

Based on the fact they are now talking about releasing the 2007 version of Quicken for Mac in a Lion compatible binary - I am jumping to the conclusion that this deal has been consummated. This path would make “Quicken 2007 for Mac ‘Loin compatible’”, and explains why there are no feature improvements

Intuit did nothing to their soon-to-be six-year-old codebase - they simply purchased some libraries and recompiled their source. Nothing more…

PS - Am I the only one who switched to SEE Finance?
Barry Markovitz  2012-01-02 21:44
I am now one with SEE Finance. Still not quite used to it, but getting there. Sorry Intuit... you blew it. As Adam says, too little too late.
Richard Lennox   2011-12-24 16:23
Day late and a dollar short...
I have long since abandoned personal finance software, especially intuit. Good luck tho...
There is a sucker born every minute
Let me get this straight, in a few months you can run Quicken 2007 in the year 2012. Let the oohs and aahs begin. If I was Quicken I wouldn't be too proud of that statement.
John Chew  2011-12-26 05:06
A good second step would be to make a vague promise to bring support for Canadian Mac users of any vintage of OS X. Their current suggested workaround is "run our Windows version under emulation"
Vince Renyar  2012-01-03 20:19
Have you ever called Intuit's Canadian tech support? You're routed to India and they say the don't support Quicken for Mac. I told them I bought it from Intuit Canada. I asked if Quicken for Windows would import the Quicken Mac data file. They said they don't support Mac. I told them I'm asking about the Windows product. I asked if they sold Quicken for Windows, so I could run it in virtualization. They said they don't support Mac. I told them, I'm asking for a WINDOWS version. They say, we don't support Mac, etc., etc. I asked if they could give me their manager or somebody who understands English. They say contact Intuit U.S. Never did get it resolved. Never did get a call or email from Canada (or the U.S.) Totally useless outfit. How does Intuit stay in business? I was wrong to think Quark was as low as a company could go.
Jim Reardon  2011-12-26 10:38
Left Quicken last year after seven years of use. It had nothing to do with Lion. Instead, Quicken has been losing functionality and gaining bloat to the point where I refuse to use it.

It was disappointing, but not surprising, to learn that my old Quicken files were inaccessible after the Lion upgrade. But even that has been tolerable.

Incidentally, of the dozens of applications I've accumulated on the Mac, only Quicken broke with the Lion upgrade. Only Microsoft Office applications continue to misbehave, albeit in a minor way, with odd file opening/closing behavior. This should tell you something about the commitment of these two firms to support their PAYING users on all platforms.
Al West  2011-12-31 09:40
My email to Intuit indicated that their action is much too late. I did a lot of prep work, switched to iBank, and then upgraded to Lion. Prior to Lion, Ituit's action may have been acceptable. This late action caused me to have a complete loss of faith in Intuit.
This sounds like something you'd read in The Onion. Intuit releasing a Lion-compatible update to 5-year-old Quicken - a full year after the public release of Lion.

Sorry, Intuit, when you said Quicken wouldn't be ready for Lion last year, I moved to SEE Finance, and I have no desire to return to Quicken.

Isn't this a perfect example of the idiom, "Closing the barn door after the horse has bolted"?
Emily L. Ferguson  2012-01-02 18:09
I'm not moving to Lion at this point. I've got 18 years of data in Quicken 2005 and can't imagine using something as lamely designed as SEE Finance. Even the much touted import was full of bad conversions which would have taken a week to fix and then the input screen was so poorly conceived that I can't imagine using it. So if Intuit actually does what it says, that's OK with me. At least I'll be able to continue using my 18 years of data.
Phil Rice  2012-01-14 10:02
I agree. I've tried several other programs, and then settled on iBank. However, I have spent untold hours trying to get it to work properly. I'm still looking for options that work much more seamlessly, but haven't found any. Until then, I'm going to stick with quicken. I think I may end up running it on an ancient iBook so I can upgrade to Lion.
David G. Kanter  2012-01-02 18:40
I have held off moving from Snow Leopard to Lion as I never did find a suitable substitute for my Quicken 2007 for Mac which doesn't run under Lion in the absence of Rosetta in Lion. For me, "suitable" meant one that would flawlessly import my 20+ years of Quicken data and provide me comparable reporting capabilities. I'd love to stop supporting Intuit in any manner in the light of their continuous slighting of the Mac community--with the latest insult being the release last year of Quicken Essentials as representing their response to the long-standing need for a modern program from them.

I'd love to have a modern user interface, but the flawless import and comparable reporting capabilities trump, for me, the user interface. I had resigned myself to going the dual-boot route with a partition for Snow Leopard and another for Lion.

Following release of that memo on 22 Dec 2011:

While being ever-suspicious of promised delivery dates from any developer--and even more so from Intuit with their history--I was, at that point, likely to hang with Quicken 2007 for Mac under Snow Leopard until we get to "early spring" or there's some reneging from Intuit.

There were two concerns I had that weren't addressed in that message: cost and "sunsetting" (i.e., their practice of dropping support--such as for downloading banking transactions--for legacy software). I got through today to Intuit's Quicken Support and was told the promised compatibility with Lion will be provided as a regular patch to Quicken 2007 for Mac and, thus, will be available at no cost to current owners of that program; and as that will still leave the Lion-compatible Quicken 2007 for Mac as the latest of that software (i.e., unaffected by Intuit's release of Quicken Essentials for Mac), it will remain, until its superseded by some new Quicken 20XX, without a "sunsetting" date. Now, do I trust that advice will still be valid come "early spring"? No, but it's enough to stop me from further research of other software to replace Quicken 2007 for Mac.

Well, I didn't have to wait for "early spring" to learn that advice--at least for now--is not valid. I received this e-mail from Intuit:

From: "Morrow, Steven"
Date: December 27, 2011 13:56:37 EST

To: [my personal e-mail address]

Subject: Quicken 2007 for Lion

[my name],

I was reviewing our Mac 2007 for Lion support contacts and came across your case from December 23. Unfortuantely, you received incorrect information when you contacted support.

A final decision around pricing for the Lion-compatible Quicken 2007 and the sunset policy has not been made. Both issues are still pending items that need to be settled prior to release of the product. In order to get the latest information, please visit [ http://quicken.intuit.com/support/help/lion-compatible-quicken-for-mac-2007/GEN83769.htm ]http://quicken.intuit.com/support/help/lion-compatible-quicken-for-mac-2007/GEN83769.html and sign up to be notified when more info is available.

Regards,

Steve

Steven Morrow | Quicken Tier 3 Support Manager | Personal Finance Group | Intuit, Inc.†

Sigh. Put me back to looking further for other software although I'd likely still not abandon Quicken 2007 for Mac until I hear what will be Intuit's further advice regarding the Lion-compatible version of it.

P.S. Not that it absolves Intuit from still being like its prior self, I was surprised their internal process actually made it possible for them to review exactly what they had told me; that they did such a review; and that they did get back to me in such a relatively short time following my call to them on the 23rd.

I then wrote back to Mr. Morrow telling him how not having already decided to make the upgrade at no cost to existing Quicken 2007 for Mac users and also not assuring there'd be no near-term sunsetting were only further insults to we long-suffering Quicen 2007 users, that confidence has already been lost long ago, and the earlier memo now seemed more like an attempt just to delay defection than a true promise of having learned from their past practices and truly intending to do better for the Mac community, going forward.

David
Joe Gudac  2012-01-02 18:47
I am willing to give Intuit a chance. Quicken 2007 and previous versions served me well for for over 20 years. I looked at several other options and couldn't find any that really worked. I even purchased QuickBooks 2011 and if you think Quicken for the Macintosh lacks Windows level versions of Quicken. QuickBooks 2011 for Macintosh lacks much of Quicken 2007. Only positive for Quickbooks 2011 it does run under Lion!

For me I have gone back to Quicken 2007 via Remote Access to a Mac Mini running Snow Leopard.

fergusonws  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2012-01-03 09:20
Intuit let me down by their lack of a Mac/Lion solution for Quicken. As a result, following your article, I chose iBank as a replacement. It's OK, and converted my existing file well snuff. However it's reporting capability doesn't satisfy my needs. I hope to purchase the new Quicken for Mac, and reconvert my iBank file. If that doesn't work well, I'll be severely irritated with Intuit, and IRS season will be inhibited.
pehrgood  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2012-01-03 17:50
Yea! I have been a Quicken (for Mac) user for more years than I can remember. I am pleased to hear that Intuit has made a commitment to upgrade their application. I had decided not to upgrade to Lion because Snow Leopard works just fine for me. Having been a Mac user since the Plus series, I am tired of upgrading/learning new applications. My time has more value than these redundant exercises. "Been there, done that." The simple ability to run the feature set in "2007" is all I really need. If this upgrade happens then I will spend the time upgrading to Lion.
To all the negative posters, I understand your frustration, but in this business, this seems to be the norm. Corporations value their bottom line over loyalty.
I still have the floppy disks with Excel 1.0 on it and an old Mac that can run it. I am sure that my 8 Gig iMac will function for years to come. There is no rush to upgrade but I welcome the prospect.
Andrew Edsor  2012-01-04 11:10
I'm a Brit who has used Quicken (currently on 2007) since 1997 (45 Registers). I have solemnly paid for each version despite having to import physical copies from the US as it's not available here in Britland and it has never been possible to download it this side of the pond. I've never needed support. It may have some shortcomings because it has not been tailored for UK finance but it will still do 85% of what I want from it and that's much more than any other application.

I'm half way to migrating to SEE Finance whose support is outstanding. The cynical me says this is a midnight hour attempt by Intuit to stop all Mac owners from finally jumping ship. Or has there really been a genuine change of heart?

If Intuit block access to the upgrade to those outside the US, then I won't struggle, I'll abandon Quicken. In the meantime I'll carry on trialling SEE Finance.
James Mitchell  2012-01-04 18:36
Adding a PowerPC emulator to the last version of Quicken for Mac is keeping a dead-end piece of software on life-support. It means that it is very unlikely or impossible that there will be any updates or even bug-fixes as Intuit aren't going to have anyone still working on the code base which is mostly more than ten years old. It would make more sense to bundle the Windows version with a Mac compatibility layer (as is done with many games), which would at least provide feature parity and an actively developed code base for the Mac version. I'm still really glad I moved my 18 years of Quicken data to iBank.