Common Mac and Windows File Format

It would be cool if Mac and Windows Quicken could use the same file, allowing it to be shared (not used at the same time, of course) between a Mac and a Windows computer via something like DropBox or Google Drive.
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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Since Quicken has spent the past roughly nine years working on a next-generation version of Quicken Mac, it seems unlikely that they will start over again for both Quicken Windows and Quicken Mac to create a version which works on a unified file format.

    I am sure they considered that possibility back when they decided Quicken Mac 2007 was a dead end and they needed to start over creating a new Quicken Mac. I believe the likely reason they didn't go that route is that both the Mac and Windows versions of Quicken rely heavily on technologies native to their operating system. For instance, for a number of years, Quicken Windows was tied to Microsoft's .Net technology which was never available on the Mac. The databases each uses, and even the basic memory management technologies each uses, are quite dissimilar. It is possible to create a database which is cross-platform, and Quicken Mac now uses a standard SQL database which could be implemented in Quicken Windows -- but it would likely entail a significant re-write of Quicken Windows to move it off its proprietary database. After watching the painfully long process of re-writing Quicken Mac, I just don't think that's likely. And in order to use the same file, the programs would need to both have basically the same features, and many features in Quicken Mac or Quicken Windows are also tied closely to the programming tools and frameworks of each other operating systems. 

    Quicken has focused the past few years in building a web-based app, Simpfli, which is obviously cross-platform. I would guess that represents the long-term future, rather than re-engineering the desktop products to use a common file format and have the same features. 

    It's not a bad idea; I'm just explaining why I think it's unlikely to come to fruition.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993