Last Updated Dec 29, 2008 12:00 PM EST
But even better than that, today's SMBs can operate without spending a penny on software, as evidenced by the following freebies -- our picks for the best of 2008.
- Comodo Internet Security Formerly Firewall Pro 3.0, Comodo's award-winning security app has expanded to include protection against viruses, rootkits, keyloggers, and other malware. Amazingly, it's still free.
- IE7Pro Not allowed to use Firefox at the office? Then at least give Internet Explorer 7 a power boost. IE7Pro adds features like screen capture, crash recovery, inline search, and a spell checker.
- Lotus Symphony Built on OpenOffice but far less intimidating to non-techie users, Lotus Symphony rivals Microsoft Office with business-caliber word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations.
- Spiceworks 3.0 A dream come true for IT managers, Spiceworks offers network inventory, monitoring, reporting, and troubleshooting, along with a complete IT help desk. Before you drop a bundle on similar software, try this freebie.
- Xobni The Outlook add-on I can't live without, Xobni adds much-needed search capabilities along with social-networking features so you can instantly find your contacts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and the like. Hard to believe it's still free -- not that I'm complaining.