Though it remains an excellent vector drawing tool, there's not a lot in Adobe Illustrator CS3 to compel CS2 users to upgrade.
If you need to partition your live hard drive, Norton PartitionMagic 8 is still the application to beat.
The professional's choice for image editing spawns Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended to appeal to select vertical markets, but it delivers mixed results.
With its streamlined tools, enhanced nondestructive editing capabilities, and better performance, Adobe Photoshop CS3 will look very attractive to almost any user.
Adobe has improved the speed of Flash and its integration with other CS3 apps, although flashy new features are few. Plus, Flash now works natively on Intel-based Macs.
This raw work-flow application isn't the Holy Grail many hoped it would be, but Apple Aperture 1.5 could make life easier for photographers who need to cull, retouch, and output large numbers of photographs quickly and efficiently.
Microsoft Expression Studio
Amazon Unbox has taken its knocks, but it's a strong choice if you own a Windows PMC, or if you don't mind watching movies on your monitor.
The Nintendo DS and DS Lite do a lot of things well, but Web browsing isn't one of them. Give this slow, Flashless Web browser a pass.
Glitches within the interface and poor scanning and removal performance lead us not to recommend CA Anti-Spyware 2007 despite its three-user license.
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection
Until this recent release, Spyware Doctor was one of the better antispyware choices. Nettlesome glitches and a low rate of spyware removal, however, keep us from recommending Spyware Doctor 5 for now.
This free Firefox extension, currently in alpha testing, blocks malicious sites at the browser.
Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2007 was hard to install and produced several noticeable glitches that distracted us from the benefits of the suite.
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.
McAfee Total Protection feels like a grab bag of security and performance tools without any clear focus, which will likely frustrate the average user.
Windows Live OneCare doesn't provide as many unique features and often repackages tools already available for free within the Windows operating system. For $30 more, it's well worth investing in the solutions from McAfee or Symantec, and we give the final nod to Norton 360 which ensures the best protection and performance tools for your money.
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.