Apple (s aapl) intends to ship OS X Lion in July, and many programs people rely upon now have an unofficial expiration date, since Apple appears to be removing the ability to use PowerPC-only software in OS X via Rosetta. Many users will need to come up with alternatives if they plan to move to Lion. If you or someone you know uses the programs below, it’s time to start shopping around.
1. Microsoft Office 2004
Let’s face it, Microsoft Office (s msft) isn’t cheap, and Office 2008 wasn’t that great. Some features in 2004 weren’t in 2008 (though many were reintroduced in 2011), and when 2008 included the new .docx format, 2004 users didn’t want to move to a new format that could cause problems. Because of these issues, it’s not unusual to find users two versions behind. Alternatives: Office 2011, iWork, Google Docs (s goog).
Appleworks, why can’t we quit you? I’ve been a fan of Appleworks since the Apple II days. You worked equally well on Mac and PC, and included a database that’s easier to use and understand that those used by either Filemaker or Access. In fact, Apple was still selling Appleworks until 2007. Fortunately, iWork will open most files in Appleworks format and Apple has a full transition guide about moving Appleworks files over to iWork. Database users will either need to export the file to spreadsheet format or move up to Filemaker. Alternatives: iWork, Filemaker, Bento.
Die-hard Freehand users refuse to use Illustrator (s aapl). Freehand MX was the last version released before the purchase and discontinuation of the product by Adobe. Freehand holdouts might balk at the cost of Illustrator, or at having to relearn using new software, but it’s time to move on, or Lion won’t be able to open your files. Alternatives: Illustrator (this guide will help).
Eudora was an outstanding cross-platform email program and a longtime Mac standard. It easily imported into Apple Mail, Thunderbird, or Microsoft’s Entourage, but some of us, myself included, were lazy and didn’t import old emails. Instead, if I needed an ancient email, I just opened Eudora. Now’s the time to import those emails before you run into problems with Lion. And if Eudora is still your primary email program, it’s definitely time to move onto something else. Alternatives: Penelope/Eudora Open Source, Apple Mail, Thunderbird, Outlook.
5. Quicken 2007
Although Intel (s intc) Macs have been out since 2006, Quicken still hasn’t updated the program. And Quicken 2007 is still being sold, because Intuit’s new product, Quicken Essentials, is a scaled-down version of its 2007 predecessor. Essentials lacks features such as bill pay and sophisticated stock tracking. Intuit generally keeps their Mac products somewhat behind the PC versions. Intuit’s suggestions for what to do with the end of Rosetta are laughable. Fortunately, a wide variety of alternatives exist for these users, but be sure to research these carefully, and import your data into a new program before you make the move to Lion. Alternatives: iBank, Moneydance.
What still-in-use programs will you have to say goodbye to when you make the leap to Lion?