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.
Microsoft Office Professional 2007 ( academic)
Overall, Microsoft Office Standard 2007 is a worthy upgrade if you need to make sleeker-looking documents and presentations to share with others, and Outlook is better than ever, but you can stick to your current software if you don't feel that it lacks anything.
QuickBooks Premier 2007
Despite its lean list of improvements, QuickBooks 2007 remains a terrific small-business accounting package. Longtime QuickBooks users who haven't already upgraded to QuickBooks 2006 should leap to 2007 instead.
Microsoft Money 2007 Deluxe
If you're using an earlier version of Microsoft Money, the 2007 updates may not tempt you to upgrade, unless the latest version's new budgeting abilities fit your needs.
Quicken Mac 2007
Intuit Quicken 2007 Premier offers a thorough overhaul of its interface, as well as useful new features and conveniences that other financial software products can't match.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred 9
For people who type a lot or suffer sore fingers and hands, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 is the best tool available for dictating text and commanding a Web browser by voice, despite the gradual adjustments needed to conform to your personal manner of speaking.
Peachtree Premium Accounting 2007 ( 5 users)
With its slick new look and powerful set of bookkeeping tools, Peachtree Complete Accounting 2007 is a fine upgrade for longtime users, especially for small shops that need to manage inventory.
FileMaker Pro 8 ( multiplatform)
With improved data-export tools, beginner-friendly templates, and support for massive files, FileMaker Pro 8 is a great choice for novice or professional users who need to develop powerful databases.
ACT! 2006 Premium for Workgroups
Act 2006 is a solid choice for sales pros but a nonessential upgrade for version 2005 users.