Office Mobile ( iOS)
The Office apps for iOS are worth downloading for free basic editing features, but are much more useful once you add a subscription to Office 365.
Intuitive interface design and easy access to useful features make iWork the best office suite choice on the Mac. Though it lacks some of Microsoft Office's advanced options, iWork '09 is an emerging powerhouse in its own right.
QuickBooks Simple Start 2009
Intuit QuickBooks Premier 2009 keeps the program's well-designed, intuitive interface, while adding a few new features. It's a worthy upgrade for people serious about online banking, and it remains the best accounting program for small business owners. However, Intuit should be more generous with customer support, particularly for setup issues.
Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Standard
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 isn't perfect, but it's the best dictation software available. We don't find this upgrade necessary for the most basic dictation, although new features may benefit heavily accented English speakers and those who rely heavily on voice commands.
H&R Block TaxCut Premium Federal + State 2007
H&R Block TaxCut is relatively affordable and well-designed tax-prep software, although we found TurboTax's interview to be more direct and thorough.
Intuit TurboTax 2007 Deluxe
It's not perfect, but if you're brave enough to manage your own taxes, then TurboTax 2007 is Intuit's best tax application yet.
This product is available from the provider's Web site
Microsoft Money Plus Deluxe 2008
Once again, we don't find this upgrade necessary, although some might come to rely upon the new Insights views of finances, and uber-organized users can link transactions to images of checks and receipts.
QuickBooks 2008 Simple Start Plus Pack
QuickBooks Premier 2008 remains the top small-business accounting program. Its guidance for novices is top-notch, and it comes in a variety of editions tailored for specific industries. Version 2008 isn't an essential upgrade for QuickBooks 2007 users, but it's a good buy for users of earlier versions, and for anyone new to accounting software.
Apple iWork '08
Although Microsoft Office 2007 offers deeper features, particularly for number crunchers, Apple iWork '08 is a strong Mac productivity package and a pleasure to use.
Adobe Illustrator CS3 ( single user upgrade from FreeHand, Mac)
Though it remains an excellent vector drawing tool, there's not a lot in Adobe Illustrator CS3 to compel CS2 users to upgrade.