The official Gmail app is a solid option with multiple account support, integration with Google apps, and more features that bring the app closer to the Web-based client.
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.
Windows Vista Home Premium is essentially warmed-over Windows XP Home Edition. If you're currently happy with Windows XP SP2, we see no compelling reason to upgrade. On the other hand, if you need a new computer right now, Windows Vista Home Premium is stable enough for everyday use.
Microsoft makes an aggressive, forward-thinking, and bold statement for the future of PCs with Windows 8, and vast security and speed improvements more than justify the $40 upgrade price.
DirecTV Now delivers an impressive mix of channels for the money, but people who prioritize a cloud DVR should look elsewhere.
Intel Mac users will like Snow Leopard's smartly designed interface enhancements, and its Exchange support is a must-have (especially with Outlook for Mac on the way). With a ton of technological improvements, Snow Leopard is worth the $29 upgrade fee.
Integration with Mac OS X Yosemite and a fair price make Parallels Desktop 10 the best Mac system virtualization option, despite a confusing installation process.
Fast and exciting strategic gameplay makes Kingdom Rush Origins a must-have pick for tower-defense fans.
These iPad accessories -- the Osmo stand, drawing board and apps -- create hybrid ink-and-digital art.
Windows 7 is more than what Vista should have been, it's where Microsoft needed to go. How much damage Vista did and whether Windows 7 is enough for people to finally abandon Windows XP are questions that nobody has the answers to right now.
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.
If you're ready to let go of old habits from previous versions of Word and want to make sleeker-looking documents, Microsoft Word 2007 is worth the upgrade. However, less-expensive alternatives handle its core features without the clutter.
FranklinCovey PlanPlus brings the company's planning system to the desktop level and delivers management tools and organization to the busy individual.
OneNote 2003 is better than your word processor at taking notes, but it's expensive. Instead, we recommend EverNote, which is free.
Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac
Works 8.0 is ideal for technophobes and Luddites who need an extremely simple interface for their home-computing chores.
A supereasy setup and a great design put Quicken 2004 on top, especially for novices, but Quicken 2003 users probably don't need to upgrade.