Quicken Essentials Updated, Price Lowered

Reader response to the introduction of Quicken Essentials for Mac here on TheAppleBlog ranged from resigned acceptance of the reduction in features to outright anger and dismay at the new version that dropped so many of the capabilities of Quicken 2007 for Mac. In response to these criticisms, Intuit (s intu) has publicly announced plans to enhance Quicken Essentials for Mac during the course of the year and has also lowered the price, offering a rebate to existing customers.
“Quicken Essentials is our first Mac-native Quicken product, and demonstrates our new commitment to the Mac platform,” said Aaron Patzer, vice president and general manager of Intuit’s Personal Finance Group. “We’re glad customers took it seriously when we asked for their feedback. These are the first in a series of changes we’re planning to ensure Quicken Essentials users have the tools they need to manage their money easily and affordably.”

New Features

The first set of enhancements to Quicken Essentials for Mac will be available by the end of the month and will let customers:

  • Protect files with passwords.
  • Export transaction data to spreadsheets for further analysis.
  • Additional enhancements are expected throughout the year, enabling customers to:
  • Obtain a complete picture of current net worth by entering investment holdings from brokerages that do not download to Quicken.
  • Compare spending between time periods to better understand expenses.
  • Export tax-deductible expenses to tax filing programs, such as TurboTax.
  • Track budgets across several months

Existing Quicken Essentials for Mac users will get these updates automatically as they become available.

Lower Price: Customer Refund Available

In addition, Quicken lowered the retail price for Essentials from $69.99 to $49.99. Customers who purchased the product before April 19, 2010 can obtain a $20 refund.  The offer is good through May 31, and further details are available at www.quicken.com/macrefund.

Intuit Should Have Done More From the Beginning

These measures will be welcome news to many users. The features slated for free updates are a good start, although some will be upset that their favorite feature is still missing (check printing, investment analysis, etc.). I think it is a good move for Intuit to go public with its plan to release these new features as free updates this year. It is tough for software publishers to pre-announce new features, but Intuit is in a bind here and needs to communicate to users that they will not be stuck with an inferior product.
The rebate is also a good idea, but perhaps too little too late. In my original review, one of my first reactions was that the price was too high to begin with for such an anemic first release. Quicken Essentials should have launched at $29. Then the v2 release could be $49 with a $20 upgrade for v1.0 customers.

What Do You Think?

Is this enough to assuage your anger or lessen your disappointment in buying Quicken Essentials for Mac? Will the lower price and promised features convince you to go out and get it now if you haven’t already?