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.
Trend Micro Antivirus plus Antispyware 2008
Trend Micro Antivirus plus Antispyware 2008 offers a variety of features designed for the home and small office. However, lack of independent testing data keeps us from giving a final rating at this time.
Pricing not available
Quicken Premier 2008
Quicken 2008 is a solid finance package and a great choice for novices, but there isn't a compelling reason to upgrade from the 2007 version.
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.
Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended ( single user upgrade, Mac)
The professional's choice for image editing spawns Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended to appeal to select vertical markets, but it delivers mixed results.
Adobe Photoshop CS3 ( single user upgrade, Mac)
With its streamlined tools, enhanced nondestructive editing capabilities, and better performance, Adobe Photoshop CS3 will look very attractive to almost any user.
TurboTax Home & Business 2006
With its cogent, easy-to-understand interview and clean design, Intuit TurboTax 2006 remains one of the top tax-prep programs out there. However, it's pricier than H&R Block's TaxCut, which is the better bargain.
TaxCut Premium + State 2006
For do-it-yourself tax preparers, H&R Block TaxCut Premium 2006 is a solid buy. TaxCut is a breeze to learn and notably less expensive than archrival TurboTax Premier.