Quicken 2007 ships, but without Intel support

Financial software-maker Intuit announced the release of Quicken Mac 2007 Tuesday. But with the personal-finance application appearing on retail shelves, it arrives without native support for Intel-based Macs.

Quicken Mac 2007 sports several enhancements including 401(k) investment management, a paycheck detailing feature, and a Dashboard widget for rapid entry of transactions. However, it’s the lack of a Universal Binary version that runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs that’s likely to attract the most attention of Mac users, who have become accustomed to updated software adding that compatibility ever since Apple announced a year ago that it would use Intel-supplied processors in its hardware starting in 2006.

Intuit representatives confirmed for Macworld that the application is not Intel-native. A company spokesperson said that Intuit “focused on features that customers told us were most important” with this update, specifying 401(k) management and paycheck features. Quicken Mac 2007 runs on Intel-based Macs using Apple’s Rosetta emulation technology; “There is not a significant performance increase when running natively on Intel-based [Macs],” the spokesperson said.

Quicken Mac 2007 costs $70. While the initial press release made no mention of a rebate, Intuit confirmed that rebates will be available to all users, including new Quicken customers as well as upgraders. The value of the rebate will vary from retailer to retailer. Intuit offers a $10 instant rebate for users who purchase the program at the Quicken.com Web site.

New features

The 401(k) management capabilities highlight the changes introduced in Quicken Mac 2007. Intuit added the features in response to a survey of Quicken customers which found that 56 percent felt they were not prepared at all for retirement. The new features let Quicken users download and track 401(k) accounts and investments, including share holdings and daily prices, as well as other data. The software also promises to let users monitor returns and move funds among assorted investment options from within the Quicken interface.

As of launch, Fidelity, Vanguard, and T Rowe Price all actively support the download feature in Quicken Mac 2007, according to Intuit. The Intuit spokesperson says the software maker has relationships with “virtually all the major financial institutions who support Quicken for Windows” and is working with them to “provide the same support for the Mac community.”

Quicken’s new paycheck detailing feature lets users enter, track, and verify the accuracy of paycheck information through a simple interface. Intuit says this feature will help users keep better track of account balances and investment contributions for more informed tax and open enrollment decisions.

Intuit bills the QuickEntry Dashboard widget as a timesaver. If you don’t have time to open the full application to add some information, but still want to record data, you use the widget to jot down relevant information. The next time Quicken launches, the application will automatically add the new entry.

The QuickEntry Dashboard widget features requires OS X 10.4.6; the software also runs on machines using OS X 10.3.9 and later.

Quicken Mac 2007 retains the program’s payment scheduling, reminder, and other financial management features. The latest version boasts added security and encryption for .Mac subscribers who back up their Quicken data to Apple’s online storage service.

Updated at 12:30 PT to include information from Intuit on Rosetta compatibility, upgrade pricing, and 401(k) management features.

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