One of the big changes coming next month with the release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is that apps that operate under Rosetta, the code libraries that allow PowerPC-based apps to run on Intel-based Mac hardware, may no longer work under the new operating system.
Current developer previews of Lion do not include Rosetta, a gentle reminder from Apple to developers that they need to free their apps from any PPC-era code. For Intuit, the makers of Quicken for Mac 2007, rewriting their app from scratch was cost-prohibitive. Now it appears that Apple might license portions of the Rosetta code to developers who don't have the time or money to rewrite their apps.
In an interview published today by The Mac Observer, Intuit vice president and general manager of the Personal Finance Group Aaron Patzer noted that his team has been working closely with Apple for several months to embed certain Rosetta libraries into Quicken for Mac 2007 just for the purpose of getting the app to run under Lion. According to Patzer, that project won't see fruition until the end of the summer, which means that folks who are enamored with Quicken 2007 might have to wait to upgrade to Lion.
There are, of course, other personal finance solutions available for the Mac platform. Patzer is the man behind Mint.com, an highly-touted online personal finance site that was purchased by Intuit. Intuit's own Lion-friendly Quicken Essentials (screenshot above) is a possibility, although many Quicken 2007 users refuse to switch since Essentials lacks the bill paying and investment tracking functions that were in the earlier version of the software. TUAW readers often cite iBank as a much more capable Mac finance app.
Patzer's comments should be welcome news to developers who are behind the proverbial eight-ball in terms of making their apps Lion-ready.