Quicken 2007 may run in OS X Lion sooner or later

Lion's drop of PowerPC code support means Quicken 2007 users will not be able to upgrade, but new developments suggest this may be changing.

Topher Kessler MacFixIt Editor
Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.
Topher Kessler
3 min read

With rumor and speculation about Apple's removal of Rosetta support from OS X, one of the communities most concerned is the people who have become accustomed to using Quicken 2007 for Mac. Quicken was developed with PowerPC-specific instructions for core components of the software, which has made it a daunting and practically impossible task for Intuit to get running on the Intel architecture. As a result, when Apple drops PowerPC support altogether, Quicken will no longer run. However, there are some new developments that may shed some light on the problem for Quicken 2007 users.

According to The Mac Observer, Apple and Intuit have been aware of this problem for the vast Quicken user base, and in order to prevent Quicken from being cut off in OS X Lion are working together to try to embed the essential aspects of Rosetta in the Quicken software to keep it going.

This project is likely going to take a while to get implemented, and ultimately it may not be possible to get done either properly or in enough time for it to be a feasible option for either Intuit or Apple, but at least the companies are giving it a shot. In short, initially Quicken 2007 will not work in Lion, but there is a possibility that sooner or later it will run.

Overall this means that Quicken 2007 users have the following options:

  1. Stay with Leopard or Snow Leopard
    Snow Leopard and Leopard will be around for a while to come, and there is no need to immediately upgrade to Lion, especially if it will cut into your work flow. Apple will continue to issue security updates for these operating systems, and the initial versions of Lion will undoubtedly have a few bugs that you may wish to avoid. Therefore if you wish to keep running Quicken you may opt to avoid upgrading for now.

  2. Dual-boot
    Unless you are looking to purchase a brand-new Mac that comes with OS X Lion, you will have the option to dual-boot OS X so you can run Quicken on the older version of OS X. This may be impractical for most people, but it can be done by using a secondary internal or external hard drive, or by partitioning your current hard drive and installing a small, fresh copy of Leopard or Snow Leopard on it, along with your Quicken program and data.

  3. Use the Windows version
    The real problem comes for people who are using very old systems and are waiting for Lion to come out in order to upgrade. While they can continue to use the older system for Quicken only, this may be a bit impractical. Unfortunately, once Lion is released on new hardware then no prior version of OS X will be supported for that hardware. While you may be able to boot the new hardware to an older OS version, you are likely to run into problems when doing so.

    To get over this situation, the only practical avenue is to run the Windows version of Quicken either in Boot Camp, in a virtual machine like Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion, or VirtualBox, or by using Codeweaver's CrossOver tools. While it's not an optimal solution, and will require the purchase of new software (be it either Windows, Windows and a virtualization package, or CrossOver) in addition to the Windows version of Quicken, it is an option that will read your current Quicken files.

  4. Use other finance software
    Intuit has been developing Quicken Essentials, which may be sufficient for most people, though it is missing a number of key components that Quicken 2007 has (and that likely will take a while to develop). Beyond Intuit's offerings are iBank, Moneydance, and SEE Finance, which can be used to read Quicken files. Ultimately when moving to new software you will be giving up some of your current software's capabilities, but you may gain others that you find more useful.

Questions? Comments? Have a fix? Post them below or e-mail us!
Be sure to check us out on Twitter and the CNET Mac forums.