What’s happening to money management? Microsoft dropped their venerable Money application with little notice to users. Intuit promised a new Mac Quicken years ago and it’s still missing in action. Or, just missing without action. Are Mac users not good customers for money management software? Or, did Intuit simply blow their lead by not updating Quicken back when the Mac was fading?
Quicken for Mac and Windows has been around as long as I can remember Mac or Windows. It was my first money manager on a computer.
For years Intuit provided relative harmony between Mac and Windows versions of Quicken, with file interchangeability, and near feature parity. Around the turn of the century, Apple was on the ropes, the Mac was fading, Windows had won, and Intuit picked a horse and scratched the Mac.
Mac Quicken began to show up every other year. Feature parity with the Windows version was a distant memory. What the Mac version of Quicken had more of than the Windows version was a shrinking customer base and an increase of bugs.
Intuit bet that the Mac was doomed and resources went to the Windows version. Then, a strange thing happened. The Mac came back.
Intuit’s Quicken for Windows comes in more versions than Madonna has bullet bras. Mac software developers stepped in with vibrant new checkbook and money manager software to fill the void left by Quicken’s unannounced departure.
The last Quicken for Mac version is circa 2007, which means it was software leftover from the days when Intuit believed the Mac was on its last leg. In the end, Intuit was left flatfooted in a growing and competitive market for Mac money management software.
My Financial Life
Perhaps noting, regretfully, that Mac sales were at record levels and growing faster than the PC market, Intuit showed off Quicken Financial Life for Mac users back in early 2008.
The promise was that Quicken for Mac was back and customers would love the newfound ability to download information from banks, track their taxes and cash flow, and create budgets.
You know. All the stuff that other Mac money management software was doing while Quicken was sleeping. That was then and this is now. Intuit promised a beta version for later in 2008, and, as you know we’re already in later 2009 and still nothing new.
No new Quicken on the Mac. In fact, there’s not even a mention of Quicken for Mac 2009 or 2010 or 2000 whatever on the Intuit site.
What happened? Intuit decided that the future of computing is online, not on your Mac. When Microsoft dumped Money the common wisdom was that customers already had online banking to manage their finances. Their own banks.
Money was left out in the cold. So it is with Quicken for the Mac. Intuit hasn’t said so just yet, but the writing is clearly in the checkbook. Whatever version of Quicken that may show up for the Mac may be the last.
Quicken for the Mac’s desktop may be in beta, but in the hearts and minds of Mac users, Quicken is ancient history. My money is managed elsewhere.