Quicken and Mac OSX Lion

I have been using Quicken 2007 for the Mac since 2007 to keep my financial house in order.  I use it to reconcile accounts, and most importantly, to pay bills online.  Despite the fact that the Intuit CEO sits on the Apple, Inc. board (see detail at end of this post), I received this email from Intuit:

Dear Valued Quicken Customer,

Apple is scheduled to release a new operating system this summer (Lion Mac OS X 10.7). If you are using Quicken for Mac 2005, 2006, or 2007, and are considering upgrading to this new operating system, please click here to see how it could impact your Quicken Mac product.

Aaron Forth
GM, Personal Finance
Intuit Inc.

Clicking the link above took me to a webpage that stated:

Is Quicken for Mac Compatible with Mac OS 10.7 Lion?

Updated: 7/06/2011 | Article ID: 8207

Will Quicken for Mac work on the new Mac operating system, Lion (Mac OS X 10.7)?

Currently, Quicken for Mac 2005, 2006 or 2007 will not work on Lion.  However, Quicken Essentials for Mac will work on Lion. If you are using Quicken Essentials for Mac, make sure you are on the latest Quicken Essentials patch version for full compatibility.

Why will Quicken for Mac not work on Lion, Mac OS X 10.7?

Quicken for Mac 2005, 2006 and 2007 were originally built for the older PowerPC architecture, and were able to run on newer Intel-based Macs due to an Apple technology called Rosetta. As of Mac OS X 10.7, Apple has discontinued support for Rosetta.

What are your plans related to personal finance solutions for Apple customers?

We are committed to supporting Apple products and our Mac customers. We are actively working on a personal finance solution for the iPad, as well as continuing to deliver the highly rated Mint.com iPhone application. In addition, we are evaluating options for Quicken Essentials for Mac.

What are my options?

If you do not plan on upgrading to Lion (Mac OS X 10.7), no action is required. You can continue using Quicken 2005, 2006 or 2007 as is.

If you plan on upgrading to Lion, you have a few options.

  1. Try Quicken Essentials for Mac – For a limited time you can receive 50% offthe regular price!
    • 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.
  2. Try Mint.com
    • 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.
  3. Move to Quicken Windows
    • 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 must be some sort of joke.  OSX users are now left without a program that will allow them to pay their bills online.  I am stick with Snow Leopard due to this mess and because Apple has been saying that they are eliminating Rosetta from their operating system for over a year now, and because Intuit hasn’t updated Quicken for years, I blame Intuit.

There are only two alternatives (excluding the notion of running Quicken for Windows within a virtualized Windows OS on my Mac (excluded because it is preposterous to ask someone to run a guest OS that then necessitates virus/spyware/malware protection, OS updates, etc.).  These alternatives will allow me to conduct my online bill pay operations:

  • iBank
    While this software wins big for eye candy appeal (a wonderfully OSX-esce UI), it does not support online billpay.  Their forums show a steady appeal from users for this long-awaited feature, but it continues to be a missing vital feature from this otherwise lovely looking software.
  • Moneydance
    Runs in Java.  I’m sorry, but I left java apps years ago for many reasons, and while I can understand the cross-platform appeal of this software and appreciate that online billpay works, I can’t get over the UI under java.  Kudos for their being so active within their user forums.  That gives them a leg up over iBank in customer support and reactivity to customers.

At the end of this article, I must conclude that I am staying with Snow Leopard in favor of continuing to run Quicken 2007.  I have tried the Windows version (importing was a nightmare with incorrect register balances and a host of other problems), iBank, and Moneydance; but am left with a bitter taste in my mouth.  After all, the features I want from Quicken 2007?  Not a tall order when you consider that those features have been in Quicken 2007 since 2007.  Perhaps I will end up upgrading to Lion but need to emulate Snow Leopard within VirtualBox.  Ick, but what other options am I left with?

Intuit CEO Bill Campbell’s bio on the Intuit website proudly states:

Bill Campbell has been a director of Intuit since May 1994. He has served as chairman of the board since August 1998 and was acting chief executive officer from September 1999 until January 2000. He was also Intuit’s president and chief executive officer from April 1994 to July 1998.

Campbell serves on the board of directors of Apple, Inc. He holds both a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and a master’s degree from Columbia University, where he has been appointed to the board of trustees.

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