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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Monday, December 29, 2003
Top Small Business Software in 2003
From the folks over at Small Business Computing comes this list of the top 10 software products for small business during 2003 (all prices in US dollars):

10. Google Toolbar and Deskbar - The free toolbar gives all-the-time access to Google, the Web's most extensive search engine. With the toolbar you can see the page rank for the site being surfed. It also includes a pop-up blocker and a highlighting tool to highlight your search term right on the page -- and lots more. The deskbar is a small window that pops up when you want to search the Internet and don't want to launch an Internet Explorer browser window.

9. System Mechanic 4 Professional - During 2003 Iolo Technologies added Panda anti-virus and firewall software to its $70 system optimization and housekeeping package. The combination offers an alternative to Symantec's SystemWorks, Personal Firewall and other utilities.

8. Jasc Paint Shop Pro 8 - This digital photography and image editing software offers a $109 alternative to Adobe's $649 Photoshop.

7. Intelligent Spam Filters - This category refers to a new breed of spam filters that perform intelligent, on-the-fly content analysis. This new type of spam killer includes Outlook add-ons such as InBoxer, to freeware programs like spamihilator.

6. Adobe Photoshop Album - The $50 Photoshop Album offers an easy, friendly way to organize, search, touch up, print or e-mail your collection of digital images.

5. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 Preferred - Version 7 of this pioneering speech-recognition package is called "simply remarkable" by Small Business Computing. It costs $200 and with just a half an hour's setup, "you can truly dictate to your PC, rattling on in your normal voice and enjoying versatile shortcut commands.... If Microsoft bought this software, Time and Newsweek would be running cover stories about a new millennium in human/computer interfaces. It's that good."

4. Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 - Microsoft's second-generation operating system for multimedia-optimized computers. It's a "classy, attractive way to manage your digital photos, music files, TV and radio favorites, and more."

3. Activewords - The $50 ActiveWords Plus is an interface that reacts when you type words on the keyboard. ActiveWords is "an exemplary power tool for quickly performing repetitive tasks, launching favorite programs or Web pages, and applying the idea behind Word's AutoComplete to customize and optimize your whole computing environment."

2. OpenOffice.org 1.1 - OpenOffice is a free, open-source, Microsoft-file-compatible word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, and drawing suite. Interchanges for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, along with a PDF export and a macro recorder are also included.

1. Microsoft Office 2003 - "It's somewhat anticlimactic or obvious, but it'd be foolish to deny that the new editions of Gates & Co.'s ultra-dominant software suite are the most significant of the year. *** ...Outlook 2003's reorganized reading layout and built-in spam blocker, as well as the Small Business Edition's impressive (but unshareable or single-user) contact manager, are a real help to end users...."

Read the full text of the article here.

Although the article is directed toward small business, the top ten choices are equally applicable to home users and even large corporations. And it's clear that Microsoft still rules -- yet interesting that the runner-up for top software choice is an open-source entry.

More news... more trends... more insight...

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