Home media buffs will find what they need in this versatile and stable suite for authoring and editing DVDs and CDs, but pros may want more.
Norton CleanSweep 2002 is our top pick in the uninstaller category. Its powerful set of cleanup tools, simple interface, and quality support are the best around.
On the expensive side but easy to use and ideal for turning photos into creative projects.
FranklinCovey PlanPlus brings the company's planning system to the desktop level and delivers management tools and organization to the busy individual.
Norton Internet Security 2009 hits all the right security notes and its superior protection technologies might even win back some jaded anti-Symantec folks, though for some technical support may continue to frustrate
For home and student use, we think Norton 360 represents the best value for ease of use, tools offered, and overall system performance. We recommend it over McAfee Total Protection and Microsoft Windows Live OneCare.
Net Nanny's default setting filters fewer naughty sites than any major blocking package, but it's by far the easiest to customize and use. Unless you need CyberSitter's strict site filtering, go with Net Nanny.
Office for Mac 2008 may be the best pick for business users, but most people can get by with less costly alternatives.
Microsoft Expression Web is a solid Web site layout program that replaces FrontPage and offers tools for dynamic designs, although we'd like more help for newbies.
Norton AntiVirus 2006 improves its detection and removal of spyware and adware but lags behind the more proactive McAfee VirusScan 2006.
Works 8.0 is ideal for technophobes and Luddites who need an extremely simple interface for their home-computing chores.
Microsoft Office Excel 2003
Why pay for a collection of second-rate audio add-ons and desktop decorations when you can find better junk for free on the Web? Skip Plus, unless you're looking for a silly holiday gift for a tech newbie.
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.
Microsoft Office Project 2003
You'll love Office 2001 as much as you may have disliked its predecessors. This must-have upgrade sets the standard for Mac office suites, thanks to its Mac-specific look and feel and a host of new tools.
Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac
If you've been waiting for a good reason to purchase Mac OS X, Office X is it. But if you're happy with both Office 2001 and OS 9, you won't find enough improvements to justify the $299 upgrade price.