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Entrepreneurs are ahead of the pack by nature-early adopters and innovators-but no entrepreneur would bet the farm on something just because it's new, any more than he or she would go along just to be part of the crowd. That's why, in Entrepreneur's annual evaluation of software, we profile both the bestselling software and the lesser-known but hot titles and new gizmos that have their own claims to fame. Sometimes the "off" brand will do the job and save you tons of money; other times the bestseller is best in every sense of the word. In each of 13 categories, we review several products. The first product in each section is the current bestseller according to SofTrends, the PC software tracking service of The NPD Group Inc., a market research firm in Port Washington, New York. We also profile exceptional products worth a mention in the "What's Hot" sections. All the products reviewed here deserve your consideration, especially since you can down-load free trial versions of many of them from the publishers' Web sites before doling out any cash. Download directly from the publisher whenever possible, and always isolate new software and check it for viruses. The Web addresses in each listing can also lead to special offers, the most current product information, network pricing charts, and detailed product specifications and requirements. So fire up your Web browser!
If your business depends on knowing what your customers like, what they've bought and what they're likely to want, you probably need a contact management program.