updated 11:15 pm EDT, Thu June 16, 2011
Could bring new life to older versions of Quicken
Though Apple has made no formal announcement, Lion as it stands will ship without Rosetta, the transitional libraries that allowed Carbon-based PowerPC apps to continue to work with Intel Macs running Snow Leopard. Older apps that have never updated to the Cocoa frameworks, such as AppleWorks, will finally cease to function in the new operating system. Intuit's Aaron Patzer has hinted that Rosetta might possibly live on, The Mac Observer reports.
Although Intuit has already addressed the Snow Leopard and Lion compatibility issues with their recent edition of Quicken Essentials for Mac, the new program was less full-featured than the previous Quicken offered for Mac, Quicken 2007. The company has not tried to update the older Quicken, Patzer explains, because the codebase is decades old and would essentially require a complete starting over, an investment the company was unwilling to make.
Patzer, also known for his finance web app Mint.com, is described in the report as a passionate Mac advocate. Although the Quicken Essentials product sold well, many Quicken Mac customers resorted to sticking with the older version -- primarily because of two main features missing from the Essential version: bill pay and investment tracking. Patzer's Mint service, originally conceived as an online alternative to home-finance apps, also drew a devoted following -- but was not able to read Quicken data (though Patzer says that will change early next year).
In the discussion with writer Dave Hamilton, Patzer mentioned that Intuit had been working closely with Apple "for the past few months" on a plan to possibly embed specific Rosetta libraries into an updated Quicken for Mac 2007 which would allow it to work under Lion. Patzer cautioned, however, that even this project would be "complex," and may never come to pass. He was hopeful that an announcement could be made one way or the other by the end of the summer.
Patzer's comments suggest that there is little technical reason why Apple couldn't include Rosetta with Lion -- apart from the company's desire for users to update to modern technologies and frameworks for the best experience and performance in current systems. It also implies that Apple may be interested in licensing the technology to select companies that would otherwise be unable to offer full 64-bit versions of their apps in the near-term, a goal Apple wants developers to move to as quickly as possible. The company has made it clear to developers for years that Rosetta was a transitional bridge with a limited lifespan, and was only included as an optional install in Snow Leopard for those who needed it.
Apple's focus on 64-bit computing is also the reason why the Core Duo (not to be confused with "Core 2 Duo") and Core Solo Intel chips the company briefly used in some MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac mini models are also not supported in Lion, as those chips are 32-bit only and incapable of running fully 64-bit applications. [via The Mac Observer]