Any Mac user who needs to use Windows or Linux software or needs to test software in different environments will appreciate Parallel Desktop's seamless integration, with plenty of little features that make the switching experience as smooth as possible.
Apple iLife '09 is a great application suite for simple media organizing and editing, and the addition of features like face recognition, geotagging, and music lessons makes it worth the update.
Although Microsoft Office 2007 offers deeper features, particularly for number crunchers, Apple iWork '08 is a strong Mac productivity package and a pleasure to use.
Microsoft Expression Studio
If you work with Microsoft Outlook on a daily basis, this upgrade can make scheduling simpler and e-mailing more interesting. Still, we wish Instant Search and e-mail rendering were better.
If you need a midlevel Web site design app, Microsoft FrontPage 2003 is a good choice, but professionals should use Macromedia Dreamweaver instead.
An easy-to-use interface and effective handling of spyware make either the free or paid version of Tenebril SpyCatcher an excellent addition to your PC's defense arsenal.
Overall, Apple iWork '06 is a compelling package, though mostly due to Keynote 3. Keynote 3 is a better tool than PowerPoint, and Pages 2 offers some intriguing new features, though professional users will still yearn for Adobe FrameMaker.
Norton AntiVirus 2006 improves its detection and removal of spyware and adware but lags behind the more proactive McAfee VirusScan 2006.
PC-cillin Internet Security 2005 delivers speedy virus scanning and a host of other Internet protection tools--all for the price of most antivirus-only programs alone.
Despite some stability problems, Pinnacle Studio 9.0 is a remarkably powerful video editor and authoring app for both home and professional use.
Mid- to high-level graphics professionals will like this package, but it's overkill for just touching up photos and drawing organizational charts.
Adobe keeps Illustrator CS the top dog in the field of professional drawing tools.
Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003
Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003
Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
Microsoft Office XP's online and collaborative tool improvements make it a smart upgrade for businesses and groups, but it's not worth the cost, time, and effort for single or home users.
Current WordPerfect customers should certainly upgrade to Office 11.0. But SOHO users won't need some of the functionality.