1st Place: Microsoft Office For Mac 2008
2007 saw a massive overhaul of the PC version of Microsoft's venerable productivity software suite, Office. However, it took until 2008 for Microsoft to bring the Mac version up to date. Unlike the PC version, though, it was well worth the wait.
A heavily redesigned interface lead the charge of changes with everything taking on a much more unified and Mac-like appearance. The equally lauded and derided ribbon menu also made an entrance with it proving more intuitive on the Mac than the PC.
Performance also improved considerably thanks to this new version actually being written for the Intel processors that Macs now use rather than the old Power PC ones. Each individual application has also had a whole host of other improvements that we couldn't begin to summarise here.
Essentially, though, whether you just want a comprehensive office productivity suite or you must connect to an exchange server at work, the new Office 2008 for Mac is well worth the cost.
Software can be complicated. It can also be very simple. But it's the software that is both complicated and simple that is often most impressive. Take Google, for instance, on the surface it's incredibly simple; you just type a word into a box and it shows you some links. However, underneath that simple interface is some incredibly clever software and that's what makes it brilliant just like Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10.
On the surface this software seems to do very little; it just turns spoken words into computer text and commands but the sophistication of what's happening behind the simple interface is almost enough to boggle the mind. Quite simply, this is the best voice recognition and dictation software we've yet used.
3rd Place: Google Android
It just had to be done.
Despite being clearly unfinished and only available on one device (see: T-Mobile G1), the game changing potential of Google's mobile phone operating system simply couldn't go unrewarded.
In just one iteration, Google has created the second best finger-friendly operating system on the market, which on its own would've been worthy of praise. As could the fact that it's open source and already has access to hundreds of applications. When you then take into account how fast it is and how useful it is to have it integrated with Google's online apps, you really have an astonishing achievement.