With the release of Lion one thing that had to be done prior to upgrading was to confirm that your favorite or commonly used apps were all Intel based and did not rely on the Rosetta software translator. The only one I had on my machine was Quicken 2007. I have been a Quicken user since version 2. Originally on PC and then switching to the mac. Using Quicken to reconcile my accounts is now pure muscle memory – I equate this to a programmer or designer using TextMate or BBEdit. You just know how to do it and it is instinctual. I can reconcile my checking accounts in 2-3 minutes using Quicken. It is no longer the difficult back of the statement approach. I also have been using the Quicken BillPay service for some time. While there is a monthly charge for this service, the integration with the checkbook register was brilliantly executed making paying bills electronically very very easy. For me the convenience outweighed the cost.
In order to be able to continue to use Quicken, Mac users were forced to upgrade to Quicken Essentials. The name should tell you a lot about the application. Quicken has removed many of the features that made the application so nice. The application user interface has also changed–drastically. The application feels more like Quickbooks then Quicken. I consider myself an experienced user and it took me a very long time to figure out how to use the application in the most basic way. The checkbook register view is dreadful. What you would consider to me normal application functions or buttons are buried under menus and not easy to find. Last night I had the first opportunity to reconcile my account. What normally takes me a few minutes was an hour long process.
Rewriting an application, especially a well established and mature application like Quicken can be difficult and time consuming. Quicken 2007 for Mac was actually released in 2006. So we are 5 years into the application with only minor bug fixes and nothing new. Quicken Essentials is no where near an upgrade – it is clearly a downgrade. Key features have been removed, bill pay service is gone and many key features have been left out.
When Intuit posted options on how to handle the transition from 2007 to something that will run on Lion one of the options was to switch to Windows versions of the application.
I am surprised that someone from marketing would allow this included in a response to users. It is hard to think of any examples where moving the vendors problem to the user is ever a good solution. I know of a lot of Quicken for Mac users who were infuriated by this careless statement alone.
The support page does go on to say they are committed to supporting Apple. But it mentions working on an iPad application. While having an iPad app would be nice thing to have, personally I am more concerned about having the core program working at its full potential.
As a Mac user do I feel abandoned, yes.
As a long time Quicken user am angry, yes.
Do I feel Intuit had substantial time to plan and make a new version for the inevitable removal of Rosetta, yes.
Do I feel like the Essentials upgrade was a waste of money, yes.
Will I be looking for alternatives that offer better support and user experience, yes.
Can I recommend Essentials to anyone, no.