Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional 8 ( French)
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional 8 does a great job of letting you take care of most computing needs with voice commands instead of the keyboard--a godsend for those who suffer from repetitive stress injuries.
Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003
Although it's pricey, Microsoft's PowerPoint 2003 is still the reigning champion of presentation software. You'll get a wealth of customization options, though not when it comes to export formats.
QuickBooks Premier 2006 ( Windows)
QuickBooks Premier 2006 is the best upgrade in years. Its slick new interface is the best in small-business accounting, and its accounting toolkit is easy to learn. Small but growing businesses should buy it.
Corel WordPerfect Office X3 Standard Edition
Corel WordPerfect Office X3 is a very good productivity suite with enough enhancements to warrant an upgrade. Microsoft Office users, though, should wait for Microsoft Office 12.
TaxCut Premium 2005
H&R Block has a winner with TaxCut Premium 2005, a well-designed tax-prep tool for filers with business, investment, and rental income. Though a tad harder to use than TurboTax, TaxCut is a solid buy for the file-it-yourself crowd.
Intuit TurboTax Premier 2005 ( Mac & PC)
Intuit TurboTax Premier 2005 is the best ease-of-use choice for filers with complex returns. If you have investment, rental, and small-business income--and you hate paying usurious accountant fees--buy this program.
Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006
Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006 is an affordable, well-designed bookkeeper that's a solid choice for users of Microsoft Office.
QuickBooks Simple Start 2005
QuickBooks Simple Start is easy to learn, but the lack of budgeting, payroll, and Excel-import tools limits its usefulness. We recommend a more powerful accounting app, such as QuickBooks.
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Microsoft Money Small Business
If you already use Microsoft Money, you'll like the improved online banking and bill-paying skills of this upgrade.
Quicken Premier 2006
Quicken Premier 2006 is a great personal finance program that lacks the killer features to warrant an upgrade from Quicken 2005. Users of Quicken 2004 or earlier versions should make the leap, though.