Software is an ever-changing landscape of the new, the old and the updated. Trying to keep up with what's available is hard enough. Trying to decide when to upgrade or when to stick with what you've got is even harder. Having the right information at the right time is essential to making the right choices.
In our Software Reviews area, you'll find up-to-date information on the latest versions of software you use and software you might want to use. We have searched the internet and brought together what we think are the best, most informative reviews on new and popular software. So before you decide on that next software purchase, be sure to check here first.
Version 8 greets you with a handsome interface makeover sporting colorful icons on the desktop, a nice change from version 7's utilitarian tabs.
The apps have all received a collective facelift from Adobe, across the board. There are plenty of new features worth highlighting, not the least of which is support for Windows Vista and MacIntel systems. The real keyword for this latest Creative Suite, however, is "integration."
Adobe Creative® Suite 3 (ZDNet.com)
"If one Adobe design application, such as Photoshop, is equivalent to, say, a box of crayons, then Adobe CS3 Master Collection suite would be like a drawer packed with crayons, markers, paints, and pencils in hundreds of hues."
Adobe Illustrator® CS3 (pcmag.com)
"Perhaps the greatest improvements in Illustrator CS3, however, are a number of smaller enhancements that will make you wonder why they hadn't been there all along."
Adobe® InDesign® CS3 software delivers powerful new features that allow you to explore more creative possibilities, experience greater productivity, and streamline repetitive tasks.
Adobe InDesign® CS3 (macworld.com)
"But don't let that first impression fool you. InDesign CS3 will grow on you as its improved utility becomes more obvious in day-to-day work."
The Adobe® Photoshop® family of products is the ultimate playground for bringing out the best in your digital images and transforming them into anything you can imagine.
Adobe Photoshop® CS3 (ArsTechnica.com)
"Photoshop CS3 is a tricky one to rate since what it does, it does very well. Not all of the Extended features will appeal to everyone, but things like the Black and White adjustment, curves with histogram, layer auto-align and auto-blend, Camera RAW 4, Smart Filters and interactive art placement in Vanishing Point are all part of the CS3 Standard package and they are valuable on their own."
Adobe® Acrobat® 8.0 Professional (softpedia.com)
"Adobe Acrobat Professional 8 carries on the dream and takes it higher, faster and better than ever before!"
CorelDraw® Graphics Suite X3 (pcmag.com)
"All in all, this package is an excellent choice for budget-minded professionals and business users who need access to powerful graphics tools at an affordable price."
GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) 2 (softpedia.com)
"... (GIMP) is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. The Gimp works on many operating systems, in many languages."
This redesigned productivity suite is powerful and full featured, once you get used to the changes.
When it comes to Office, compared to other apps it doesn't necessarily matter if the package is better or worse than any others out there. Since it's the de facto standard, many of us have to use it regardless. That being said, for the person in front of the keyboard, of course it matters if the software is easy and pleasant to use or not. Thankfully, I can relate to you, the reader, that this is the case. In typical Microsoft fashion, the newest version builds on prior examples to do what it's supposed to.
It is desktop graphic design for print that is still Publisher's strong suit, particularly now that Office provides a PDF output option. It falls behind the feature set of the major Office apps in this 2007 release, but it is still a capable self-contained DTP package for producing projects a small-to-medium business might distribute electronically, print in-house, or send to a printer.
With a new face, you would hope that there would come a new heart for Quark, one capable of stopping the flow of customers it once so confidently thought it would never lose.
QuarkXPress® 7 (macworld.com)
"Quark has added some good features to XPress 7 ... And users who stick with Quark XPress will be happy that the company is adopting some of the InDesign features that began turning heads four years ago."
Corel WordPerfect® Office X3 (cnet.com)
"Corel has a winner in WordPerfect Office X3, a feature-packed productivity suite ... (it) is a solid upgrade for longtime users, particularly those who manage a lot of PDFs."
Microsoft Office® 2007 (techweb.com)
"With this version, Microsoft has completely revamped the familiar Office interface. Gone are the toolbars, the drop-down menus, and the side-of-the-window Task Panes."
OpenOffice® 2 (cnet.com)
"OpenOffice 2 is the open-source version of Sun Microsystems' StarOffice ... (and) is an undeniable bargain. This robust, free productivity suite offers full-featured word-processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation apps--and it won't cost you or your business a dime."
StarOffice® 8 (eweek.com)
"StarOffice 8--the latest version of Sun Microsystems Inc.'s inexpensive, cross-platform office productivity suite--stands up better than ever next to Microsoft Corp.'s market-leading Office in terms of features, extensibility and compatibility."
Firefox® 2 (cnet.com)
"There are many enhancements within Firefox 2, making it a worthy upgrade for existing users and a fine introduction for new users. Firefox is truly innovative, yet it's also very practical for everyday use."
Internet Explorer® 7 (computerworld.com)
"IE7 is a clear and dramatic improvement over IE6; with tabbed browsing, increased security, excellent RSS support, better printing and a cleaner interface, it's a no-brainer to upgrade from IE6."
Opera® 9 (softpedia.com)
"I really don't know what's bad in Opera 9. Could it be that it has too many features? Not for me!"