Quicken 2010 Takes Cues from the Web
Quicken continues to improve--and offers solid value for those who track their personal finances with desktop software
The Premier edition I tried out has a good selection of tools for tracking investments and minimizing taxes--but you can find many of them online, especially on major brokerage sites. The main benefit of Quicken here is consolidation, for those with accounts at several institutions--for example, your 401k might be at a different site than your IRA or investment accounts.
On a purely housekeeping level, Quicken has finally consolidated all account information into a single file (past versions created several data files for each account). This makes sharing account data easy, but I wasn't able to test the program's ability to migrate significantly older accounts. Quicken 2010 also has a special Microsoft Money conversion utility for those wishing to migrate to Quicken now that Microsoft won't be offering new desktop software.
As usual, Intuit is strong-arming many customers who use older versions of Quicken to upgrade by ending support for transaction downloads for versions predating Quicken 2007. And for people whose finances are fairly straightforward, free Web options should provide all the help they need.
But if you prefer keeping your financial data on your desktop, Quicken 2010 provides polished tools in several packages: The $30 Starter edition provides basic spending and income tracking; the $60 Deluxe edition adds savings plan help; the $90 Premier edition adds investment tracking and tax planning; and the $100 Home and Business edition provides extra features for people who wish to track personal and small business finances in a single package.