Quicken 2007 and Lion will play nice for $15

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If you’ve been waiting to make the jump to OS X Lion or Mountain Lion because of incompatible finance software, Thursday may be your lucky day: As first reported by MacRumors, Intuit has released a new, Intel-compatible version of Quicken 2007.

The software available is actually a full program, rather than an update to Quicken 2007 itself, and costs $15 for a download or a shipped software CD. Though Intuit is suggesting that new customers purchase Quicken Essentials for Mac, it looks like it would be theoretically possible to just purchase Quicken 2007, though Macworld has yet to personally test that theory.

This version will open data files from Quicken 2005 through 2007, as well as from Quicken Essentials. In a move that I'm sure will bring joy to most users who attempted to muscle their way through Quicken Essentials after being 2007 stalwarts, open means just that—open, not convert. This differs from how Essentials handled data; it would convert earlier Quicken files, stripping potentially important information in the process. (Intuit has a full FAQ available on the ins and out of opening files from prior programs.)

This move comes after years of hemming and hawing on Intuit’s part over the future of Quicken on the Mac. With the exception of Quicken Essentials—which proved more a stop-gap than full retooling—Intuit had not released an updated version of its financial software since mid-2006.

This stagnation hurt users when OS X Lion was released in 2011: Quicken 2007 had been built for Apple’s PowerPC architecture, long since retired, and Lion had removed the emulator that allowed those older apps to run. Users who relied on Quicken for their banking data were forced to remain on Snow Leopard (or create a partition on their drive for the older operating system).

After many complaints, Intuit general manager Aaron Forth announced last December that the company would be prepping a Lion-compatible version of Quicken 2007; with Thursday’s release, users who wish to will be able to once more work on the current Mac OS.

It’s a stop-gap, to be sure, but fingers crossed, one in the aid of further progress. (At the very least, we can hope that Intuit’s next major Mac release appears in a more timely fashion.)

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