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Translating Intuit's corporate speak about Quicken's compatibility with OS X 10.7 Lion

Having tracked my personal finances and investment transactions in Quicken for Mac since around 1992, I was keenly interested in an email from Intuit, with the subject, “Is Quicken compatible with Mac OS 10.7 Lion?”

Coming from a company who’s major product upgrades over the past years have included new features along the lines of, “Enhanced Toolbar Icons”, and “Includes free copy of Stuffit Expander”, my hopes weren’t high.

And it’s a good thing they weren’t. The email pointed to this page of insulting corporate speak.

I’ll do you the favor, and translate it here to plain English.

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.

To answer the question — does Quicken run in Lion — uh, no. But wait! To answer a different question — does Quicken Essentials (a different product) run in Lion — YES, YES, YES! And we love to end with Yes!

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.

You see, it’s not our fault. It’s that blasted Apple! They’re pulling Rosetta right out from under us, just like they did with the floppy drive! Nearly a decade just wasn’t enough time to get our software updated. So blame them!

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 iPhone application. In addition, we are evaluating options for Quicken Essentials for Mac.

We are committed to the Mac, until we decide we’re not. And the iPad looks pretty hot, so we’re committed it to, for now at least. And you remember Mint, that service you’ve heard nothing about since we bought it? We’re committed to it too. And, we’re committed to thinking about some other stuff as well.

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.

We never upgraded our software, so maybe you shouldn’t upgrade yours.

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

Try Quicken Essentials for Mac – For a limited time you can receive 50% off the regular price! 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 option is ideal if you never used half the features of Quicken!

Try 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.

This option is ideal if you don’t mind starting over!

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.

Intuit is committed to completeness, and in the interest of completeness you gotta admit this is an option. (And, as with the other options, it’s ideal if you don’t mind losing your investment data.) And if you went for this option, you could buy a Zune.

I wish Intuit could have just manned-up, and wrote the truth. It’d probably go something like this:

So, yeah, Apple are removing Rosetta from 10.7, and that means, unfortunately, that Quicken for Mac won’t run any longer.

If you know anything about software development, you’ll know that as a software product evolves over time, especially as it’s passed from developer to developer, it grows in complexity.

We’ve been evolving Quicken for almost 20 years, so just imagine. It’s a god-awful mess of spaghetti code now, and there’s actually not a single person at Intuit who understands it anymore.

So, getting Quicken for Mac to run under Lion would require a complete rewrite, from scratch. And that’s just not something we’re interested in doing.

There are some options, except for those of you who have been tracking investments. For those, you’re unfortunately out of luck.

We know this sucks for you, and we’re sorry. 🙁

Published inRants


  1. Stefan Seiz Stefan Seiz

    Excellent Post. Do they maybe still offer a Mac OS 9 Version? I do successfully run a few old apps i depend on in OS9 using SheepShaver on my Intel MacBook 😉

  2. Jim White Jim White

    Excellent post on a total cop-out by Intuit.

    Does anyone know of the best alternative to Quicken for Apple, Lion compatible? If I am going to have to buy another piece of software, I surely will not “re-buy” Quicken in a dumbed down version.

    The very idea of suggesting that we convert to Windows — why do they think we use Apple in the first place? I for one have been there and will not go back.

  3. Matthew Klipstein Matthew Klipstein

    If anybody knows of a good alternative to Quicken, or anything else made by Intuit (like that garbage Essentials), for a current OS Mac, could you please let us know.
    Like many of you, I’ve been using Quicken to track all of my finances for years, and have watched the app deteriorate to this point, which is no longer tolerable.
    I bought Money3 (which seems to have updated itself to Money4) on the App Store.. Sucked.
    Great post by the way.

  4. Garry Garry

    What in incredible cop out bu Intuit Lucklily I stumbeld on all of this befoer upgrading to Lion which I was about to do.

    I am going to have to do something becuase unlike Intuit we all need to keep our systems current so that most applications which do upgrade are able to be run on our MAC.

    Outrageous after depending on Quicken for years to manage my finances.

  5. kAt kAt

    what do I do now that I have upgraded to Lion and my Quicken (ALL of my finances) are now inaccessible?

  6. ljwcic ljwcic

    I converted all of my quicken file to ibank when I converted to Lion. ibank runs beautifully under 10.7.

  7. JR JR

    Just withheld my AAPL votes for Bill Campbell on the BOD. I know he’s not with Intuit any more, but give me a friggin’ break. Who’s side are you ON, dude? (BTW, he’s worked for Eastman Kodak (essentially dead), Claris (essentially dead if you don’t count FileMaker) and now Intuit… Real progressive work there buddy. Way to stay ahead of the curve…

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