Intuit Raises Its Middle Finger to Mac Users

For those of you who use Quicken for Mac versions 2005, 2006, or 2007 (2007 was the last “REAL” full version of Quicken), Intuit has some important news for you: Don’t upgrade to Lion (10.7)! In an official message from Intuit on Quicken, full versions of Quicken for Mac will no longer work with the next release of the Mac OS. PERIOD!

But there is Quicken Essentials you say, I will just upgrade? You are correct, that is an option, and that version will indeed work on Lion. But be aware that this is, in my opinion, a very poor crippled version of Quicken for those who only need the most basic of Quicken functions. Lost in Essentials is ANY ability to track investments. Also missing is the ability to create a good number of the financial reports you might need to do your taxes at the end of the year, or just track your financial status. And bill pay from the app is gone! Also, Essentials was essentially written from the ground up, they started over, so things are not the same as you are used to, and it just does not feel the same to me. In my opinion, Intuit made it quite clear that supporting the Mac with a full version of Quicken was off the table. After all, their last full version came out in 2007.

If you wonder why it won’t run on Lion, there is a simple answer. The last three full versions of Quicken were all written for the PPC architecture. Quicken 2007, the latest version was too early for an Intel release, and Intuit is obviously just to lazy (or cheap) to make the changes necessary to simply do a release of Quicken built for the Intel processor of the previous release. (Which, in my view, would be the best of all answers. No new features, just modify and recompile for Intel.) Apple has decided that enough time has past on old programs, and like the Motorola 68K support of the distant past, Apple will be dropping Rosetta, the Power PC (PPC) emulator that lets old PPC programs run on Intel processors. (And you can be sure that Quicken is not the only program that will simply stop working on Lion.) So with Lion, if the program is written for PPC only, it stops working.

Intuit offers some not so helpful suggestions on their website, all of which STINK of NO support for Mac users. Lets review:

1). Try Quicken Essentials for Mac – For a limited time you can receive 50% off the regular price!

Well how nice of them. We no longer support the version you need, so here is the crappy one for half off. Better than nothing, but it comes with some warnings:

  • You can easily import your data from Quicken 2005, 2006 or 2007 into Quicken Essentials for Mac. Just be sure you upgrade and transfer your data on your current operating system. It will not import on Lion.
  • This option is ideal if you do not track investment transactions and history, use online bill pay or rely on specific reports that might not be present in Quicken Essentials for Mac.

This is probably they best solution if you use basic functions of Quicken. You will have to relearn some interface changes, but that is easy to handle. But I keep my financial history, including investment transactions going back to before 1990 in Quicken, and use that info weekly. I also make use of many reports that now are gone. Thanks Intuit for leaving many of us behind. This will not work.

2). Try Mint.com

This is a product Intuit bought some time back, and just does not cut it in my view. If you think Essentials is a poor choice, you going to love these notes:

  • You can set up an account in less than 5 minutes.
  • This option is ideal if maintaining your transaction history is not important to you.
So basically, its so simple it takes no time, but offers little function too. If you do not care about your financial history at all, which is probably why you started using Quicken in the first place, here is an answer for you. WRONG!

But here is my favorite suggestion of all:

3). Move to Quicken Windows

Yea Mac users, forget that Mac is the biggest growing segment of computers for the last few years. Intuit suggests you dump your Mac and move to Windows just to keep using their program. Isn’t that big of them?
Or maybe they suggest you get Parallels or VMWare and try running your financial software in a virtual machine, thus making it almost impossible to quickly use given virtual machine start and stop times, not to mention the resources it consumes to run it. But wait, even this suggestion does not completely solve the problem. Look at these warnings:
  • You can easily convert your Quicken Mac data with the exception of Investment transaction history. You will need to either re-download your investment transactions or manually enter them.
  • This option is ideal if you use Quicken to track investments.
This is “ideal” if you track investments? Just to be clear, the Windows version, which supports Investment transaction history, will not move over your existing data. Yea, that sounds ideal! And Intuit suggest that you reenter them “by hand”; just that easy huh? So I would have to enter by hand almost 20 years of transaction history (OK, maybe I could get away with only 7 or 8 years) into Quicken for Windows because the fine people at Intuit could not be bothered to actually create a converter for moving all my data to the so called compatible Windows version? You have got to be kidding me.

If I seem a bit annoyed, I am. Intuit has, in the past, made it clear that Mac was a second class citizen in their development strategy, and pushed that point even further by not even showing up at this year’s Macworld Expo in San Francisco. But this is the icing on the cake in my opinion. Not only can you not continue to use a full version for Mac (and they have no plans for full version so far) if you wish to upgrade to Lion, but the closest you can come is moving to the Windows version, and their conversion process is flawed and will not move your investment history, the reason you would choose this option in the first place.

Hello, Intuit? What I want to know is why you don’t have a better solution? As a software developer and technical manager, the solution seems obvious to me: Release an Intel version of the last version of Quicken. OK, that would take some time and resources, and they have made it clear they will not commit them. But seriously, why can’t you write a converter that will move ALL the data to the Windows version? Even if it takes a long time, give me the option of doing that. That would be a small project, take few resources, and would help keep your customers happy. I guess happy customers is not  business strategy for you.

For me, I will probably just commit an older Mac to stay at 10.6.x for some time to come, or add an external 10.6 drive with Quicken 2007 on it so I can reboot when I need to do financial stuff. And each time, I will swear at Intuit for sucking so badly, and hope another company offers a better solution. As for Intuit, once again they have convinced me to stay clear of their products in the future.

Thanks Intuit.

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