hittingthesweetspot by Bob Skelley

It comes in many forms

Quicken 2007 for Mac spans generations of users while frozen in time

The headquarters of Intuit Inc. in Mountain Vi...

The headquarters of Intuit Inc. in Mountain View, California (Silicon Valley). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People with new Macs enjoy the latest technology Apple has to offer. This typically means access to all the cool apps not available to those of us with less modern kit. In the case of Quicken 2007 for Mac, no one could ever have foreseen this ancient-in-technology-years program being the one piece of software bridging the gap between PowerPC and Intel processors in 2014.
We’ve been on a retro kick here at hittingthesweetspot with lots of love in recent posts for PowerPC Macs. Intuit’s Quicken 2007 for Mac allows the trend to continue, but with an oh-so-interesting twist. This doddering application with its dated interface is still the only real option for ALL Mac users who want to run personal finance software.
I have been a Quicken user since 1995 when I purchased my one and only new Mac. My data file has made the transition through all the various versions of Quicken until it stopped at Quicken 2007. There were a couple of revision updates that patched Security Certificates at banking institutions so our transactions could continue to be downloaded into the program. But Intuit has let some certificates expire prompting the dreaded “OL-249” error when attempting to access records at certain financial institutions. It’s only a matter of time before Intuit lets more fall by the wayside, too.
When subsequent versions of Quicken for the PC were released after the 2007 Mac version, I waited to see if this would be another case of a Mac program no longer being developed for PowerPC. Surely there would be a Quicken for Mac released that would run only on Intel Macs. I waited. Mac Quicken customers who updated to newer Intel Macs running Snow Leopard also waited for a new Intel-only version. But Snow Leopard users had the good fortune of being able to use “Rosetta” for PowerPC only applications (as a stopgap while developers updated their software to the Intel platform).
PowerPC users have typically been stoic and pragmatic about such Intel-only developments. There would be no need for Snow Leopard users to continue to run Quicken 2007, they thought. Once Intuit developed it, Snow Leopard users would be the first to enjoy the Intel-only release of Quicken for Mac. But, oddly enough, the wait was unending and an updated version of the software never came to pass.
What finally happened instead? Quicken for Mac 2007 was “re-engineered” for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion (Quicken 2007 Mac) users. It was the same program it had always been, but it was just tweaked so it could run on Lion. Intuit did the bare minimum to keep the program alive on the Mac platform. PC versions of Quicken advanced well beyond Quicken 2007 for Mac with regular, updated releases. At least the revamped-for-Intel-only Quicken Mac 2007 worked on Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion when it came out. And it also works on Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, too. But it’s essentially still the same Quicken for Mac 2007 that runs on PowerPC Macs.
English: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH Fr...

English: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH Français : Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There have always been a myriad of theories on why Intuit halted development of modern releases of Quicken for the Mac. My money rests on the belief that Quicken for Mac was such a small segment of Intuit’s overall revenue generation that the company’s engineering focus was smartly entrenched in the Windows camp. Because even when people say it’s not about the money, we know it’s still predominantly about the money.
Intuit did eventually respond with a stripped down, impotent version of personal finance software that was Intel Mac only and ironically titled “Quicken Essentials for Mac.” Most Intel Mac users who regretted purchasing it found it anything but “essential.”
Some people said that Intel Mac users should just purchase a PC and run the modern Quicken Windows version or run Windows on their Macs so they could run the PC version of Quicken.

I say it kind of defeats the whole purpose of owning a Mac if you’re going to run Windows on it.

Mac users with Motorola and IBM PowerPC chips powering their rigs, though, have always been able to enjoy Quicken 2007 for Mac–same as their newer Mac brethren (once the “re-engineered” Lion version came out).
PowerPC Mac owners who used Quicken 2007 for Mac never had to make another move in order to run the “latest” Mac version of Quicken that also runs on Lion, Mountain Lion and Mavericks. By never usefully updating Quicken for Mac 2007 features, Intuit unwittingly served to bond all Mac users together, forever stalled in 2007 and irrespective of their computer’s processing chip.
Any word on how/if it will run in Yosemite?


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  1. D9

    The thing that’s interests me is why Apple never produced its own home-brewed solution. The company has always tried to provide a Mac solution for those tasks deemed fundamental to using a home computer: iWork/AppleWorks, iLife, iTunes, FileMaker/Bento, Calendar/Contacts/Reminders, and even a web browser, Safari. Personal finance management is right there with most common purposes for a personal computer.
    It would have at least forced Quicken to make the decision (awhile ago) on whether to compete, or leave once & for all.

    • You make a great point, D9. Without a solution provided by Apple that could have gone head to head with Quicken, Intuit had no incentive to keep the product beyond minimally maintained. Another interesting aside is the fact Intuit took a PowerPC application and made it work on Intel, albeit barely and just enough to make it a reasonable facsimile of the PowerPC app. This demonstrates at least the potential for reverse engineering such as taking a web browser that is Intel only (like Chrome or Firefox) and making the latest Intel versions run on PowerPC. Again, money is the determining factor. It isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, but there is no money to be had for making it happen. Glad there is TenFourFox and Leopard WebKit for PowerPC users. Thanks for reading and for your comments.

  2. Emaven

    Intuit is now beta testing quicken 2015. Perhaps you would like to join that effort to make a really good product. I am not affiliated with intuit, I just want to move to a better replacement. None of the current software apps really work for me.
    Here is more info:
    It may be confusing here. I think after you sign up to be a beta tester you choose the quicken 2015 project.

    • Thanks for your interest, comments and the links, Emaven. It may be a simplistic viewpoint, but I’d like Quicken 2015 for Mac (if it ever comes to fruition) to be on a par with the latest Windows version. That is, all features in the latest Windows release of Quicken are identical in Quicken 2015 for Mac. As to being a beta tester, I’m not interested in non-disclosure agreements. If I am able to demo any software it is with the understanding that I can report on it. I also feel Intuit makes enough money that it can cultivate its own in-house team of developers and software testers. Intuit has slighted the Mac platform for years. If they make the Mac version equal to the Windows one, then all past sins will quickly be forgiven.

  3. Jennifer Moody

    On the eve of 2017, Quicken 2007 still works for me. I’ve been using Quicken on a Mac since the late 90s, I think. I now have OS Sierra, 10.12.2 running on a 2015 iMac. Somehow it keeps opening, keeps my checkbook balanced. I do all the entries manually, so mostly it’s just basic arithmetic these days. I used to run a freelance business with it. With every system upgrade I say a few prayers that Quicken will still open for me.

    • Thanks for the comment. I believe Intuit made some provisions for Quicken 2007 to continue working on Intel Macs before updating the program entirely to its current version. As you noted, 2007 is good for manual entry. The banking download features have ceased working for most institutions. It’s planned obsolescence for sure, but glad you can still use it for what you need. Happy New Year, thanks for the follow and for reading.

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