I had high hopes that 2014 would at long last bring with it an improved mobile companion app for desktop Quicken that fully supported investment, loan and other asset accounts. Instead, the only "new" functionality that was offered was "receipt capture" and a few miniscule improvements to the desktop version of the app itself. Lack of a full-featured app or version for either iOS or OSX is difficult to account for, given their widespread use.
The 2013 and 2014 Quicken mobile app provides basic syncing ability between desktop Quicken and cash accounts, and some budget support. For some inexplicable reason, the 2014 app is only available after one pays Intuit its annuity payment of $60-100, depending upon the version used. Investment, loan and other asset accounts are not supported in the 2013 or 2014 releases of the app. Which begs the question: why bother to upgrade at all, or even use the app?
Mint provides much more robust support for one's financial life by supporting all asset and liability classes. Although it doesn't sync with desktop Quicken directly, it can be configured to mirror Quicken accounts by using similar names, asset types, etc., and including static accounts - e.g., property value, autos, etc. It would be preferable if the two could be synced directly, but mirroring accounts works well enough. And it's free.
In terms of the desktop Quicken 2014 upgrade, save your money and don't bother. Apart from a few welcome technical changes - a long overdue upgrade from .Net 2.x to 4.0 is the main one - little else has changed. If you are using an older version that no longer downloads bank or securities information, you may want the upgrade. If this isn't important to you or you're using the 2012 and 2013 versions, the upgrade is hard to justify, unless you enjoy frittering money away.
I'd offer Intuit one other piece of friendly advice. I've been a desktop Quicken user since 1990 and have depended upon it to such an extent that it is the only reason I maintain the Windows version on a Parallels VM, hosted on my MacBook Air. The Mac products should have been put out of their misery years ago because of their limited functionality and Intuit's general lack of support for the Mac. I've tired of the Parallels and Windows bloatware, and of Intuit's lack of a full featured upgrade for the Mac since 2007 (yes, 2007!). I've sought alternatives, and there are now some very credible alternatives to desktop Quicken.
Similarly, in the iOS world, Intuit's lack of interest in this platform, apart from Mint, is hard to fathom. The Mac alternatives I mentioned offer full featured iOS companion apps that in several cases do sync between the desktop and iOS versions, AND support investment, loan and other accounts. If these alternatives can do it, with resources that are likely much more limited than Intuit's, why can't you? And, Intuit's Quickbooks, TurboTax and other products do offer excellent OSX and iOS support. Hard to understand, then, the Quicken offerings.
I hope Intuit listens to what I know have been many similar complaints from other users, as there are other alternatives if it doesn't.
Edited on 20 Oct 2013:
I didn't expect my review to draw the number of responses it has received or comments. This update is intended to elaborate further on my remarks above and to recommend some alternatives.
1. Quicken 2014 upgrade from 2013 - I didn't make my remarks without trying the product. I didn't experience any significant problems with upgrade process, although my Quicken file is ~ 400MB. Updates downloaded for my accounts seem to be much faster than in the 2013 version, and the periodic hesitation evident in the 2013 and earlier releases isn't as apparent in Q2014. Tax tables have been updated, but that is the extent of any obvious improvement.
2. Investment support - call me old-fashioned if you will, but I believe every investment portfolio should have a significant allocation for precious metals. There is no support at all in Q2014 or earlier releases for PMs, despite numerous feature requests for it.
3. Investment return calculations - I don't why, but Quicken's estimate of my rate of return differs significantly from that of my 401K trustee and my own spreadsheet, which I built with the help of a CFA.
4. Mobile app - I commented on Quicken's offering above, and have been trying an excellent, full-featured iPad app that could be used as a standalone app, or as a companion to the OSX version. "IBank for iPad" by IGG offers full support for investments, loans and other asset classes, as well as direct downloads for bank, credit card and other accounts with online access. It isn't perfect, but considering that it is its initial release, one would give it 4 out of 5 stars. The OSX product has been released for several years and is very good. It, too, lacks some features, but as an alternative the running QFW on a Win XP/Parallels VM, it is far superior.
5. WinXP - continued use of this as an O/S after April 2014 should give anyone using it cause for concern. After that date, Microsoft will cease providing security patches for XP. I am an IT professional and have been urging clients to prepare for their migrations ASAP. For OSX users, their choices will either be an upgrade to Windows 7 or if they're masochistic, Windows 8, if they choose to continue running QFW on OSX. Otherwise, begin planning an exit strategy.
6. Quicken for Mac update - there are periodic reports in Quicken's Support Community of a update for Quicken 2007, but no sign of any impending beta testing. It is also far from certain what data coil be migrated to an OSX version, given Quicken's inexplicable use of different file formats for Windows and OSX. A hint from "Quicken Tamara" that we "might" see something in February - which year wasn't stated - but since that comment appeared, no other mention of a release date.
7. Migration strategy - absent the ability to migrate QFW directly to most OSX alternative, e.g., attachments can't be brought across, the safest strategy is probably to run QFW and an OSX replacement in parallel until Intuit's strategy for OSX becomes more apparent, or, one becomes comfortable with an OSX replacement. This does create additional work, but the advantage is that one's QFW file will be current if iOS or OSX replacements aren't what a user wants.
8. Cloud option - it is possible that Quicken could be offered as a hosted service, which Intuit already does for QuickBooks, Turbotax and other products. This won't appeal to those with data privacy concerns, but as one who deploys virtual desktops for thousands of users for a large life sciences company, this alternative has many advantages and few downsides. However, there is no indication that Intuit plans on doing so anytime soon.
9. Quicken user interface - this is, indeed, something that needs a lot attention. One can only conclude that lack of credible alternative products and a confused product strategy - consider what Intuit could have done with Mint, but didn't - have led to inertia on Intuit's part in terms of meaningful product enhancements. Compare QFW to iBank, MoneyDance and other alternatives for what could be done. Many of Quicken's problems are the customer base's perception of its tired UI, a public accustomed to beautiful apps on the iPad and a business model that prioritizes gratuitous annual upgrades with little in the way of improved functionality over meaningful design changes and new services, many of which (cloud hosting) could improve earnings more than the current cycle of annoying annual upgrades.
10. Conclusion - there is not a single approach for every user. Some want a Windows release, others an OSX version and still others a mobile version. What is clear to me from comments posted here and elsewhere is that many of Quicken's users use it because they have to, and lack of alternatives. The latter will diminish in time, and with it, Quicken's installed base.
Edit 25 Oct 2013
For Mac users using Quicken for Windows with Parallels, be aware that if you upgrade to OSX Mavericks you will also need to upgrade to Parallels 9. Previous releases of Parallels aren't supported by Mavericks. So, in addition to paying for a Quicken upgrade of dubious value, Parallels 9 will cost you $49-89 more.
Edit 5 Jan 2014
I have migrated my use of Quicken to iBank 5, which is an excellent product and directly comparable to Quicken 2014, but with much stronger support for mobile platforms (excellent iPad app). Best of all, I can run iBank without need for Windows virtualization s/w and a full install of Windows.
I tried to convert my Quicken file using iBank's import process, but it was a miserable failure. In the end, I set up a new file from scratch using Quicken account summaries. Overall, the time spent setting up iBank wasn't excessive, and it allowed me to become conversant with the product. It is a pleasure to use, especially the investment functionality and iPad app. I will keep my Quicken installation for seven years for tax and other purposes.
The above is only for OSX users, but my criticism of the Windows version remains. Quicken, as a product, has seen little innovation in the past 5 years, has serious shortcomings from an investment perspective, poor mobile support and its user interface is in serious need of a major facelift.