November 19, 2010, 12:09 PM — Get productive with our picks for powerhouse software, including Microsoft Office 2010, PC Tools Internet Security 2011, and Adobe Creative Suite 5.
Microsoft Security Essentials
Antivirus software; free When Microsoft jumps into a category, it's time to pay attention. And when the product is this solid, it redefines the category. This antivirus tool gives you everything you need, offering malware detection in an easy-to-use package with a well-designed interface--and it doesn't nag unnecessarily. (#10 in the PCWorld 100)
Web browser; free The top pick in our tests is fast and well designed, has a clean and functional interface, supports plenty of add-ons, and provides strong security features. Chrome also offers extensive customization options for power users. (#14)
Microsoft Office 2010
Office suite; starts at $280 After years of ceding the online productivity world to Google Docs, Microsoft finally builds Web apps into the latest Office suite. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint all have new features for collaborating online. In addition, PowerPoint gains built-in video editing and playback, smooth new transitions, and an easy-to-use tool for broadcasting slideshows across the Web. (#19)
Adobe Creative Suite 5