Do your homework. "Talk to people in your industry to see what they use and how they like it," advises Mitchell. Try out the software at the store, or get a demo disk from the company and experiment with it.
The following are descriptions of some of the bestselling software programs on the market today in the categories of databases, spreadsheets, word processing, and all-encompassing office suites. The programs were suggested by well-known computer retailer Comp USA and Ingram Micro, the nation's largest computer wholesaler.
Note: Windows 95 and Macintosh versions of the same software titles offer different capabilities, options, system requirements, and pricing. Ask your local software dealer for information on which applications are available for your operating system.