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Macworld's sizzle is at the Expo

Apple had little new technology to show off at its final Macworld, but outside vendors filled the gap, bringing a bevy of hot new apps for small businesses.

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6 hot Macworld apps for business 6 hot Macworld apps for business 6 hot Macworld apps for business
While Apple had little new to announce at Macworld, the show's expo hall is filled with outside developers showing off innovative new apps. Here's our picks for 6 tools no Apple-loving small business should be without.

SAN FRANCISCO (CNNMoney.com) -- Already, 2009 has an off-year vibe for once-invincible Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500).

CEO Steve Jobs was a Macworld no-show. Battery upgrades and minor tweaks to Apple's MacBook Pro laptop computers and iLife and iWork software lines were as close as the company came to compelling new product. The only truly electric moment on kickoff day was not even Apple's at all: Tony Bennett stole the show when he closed the keynote with a bittersweet - and unexpectedly profound in this diminished era - performance of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."

But if this year's Macworld Expo, going on through the week, is a reliable indicator, 2009 could be a banner year for the small business products that run on Apple gear. Dozens of small operations showing their stuff here are not just developing terrific tools, they're developing terrific tools for small business.

"All we see is growth," says Blaine Mattson, director of sales and marketing for JAMF Software, a Minneapolis software company that develops products for the Apple environment. "They paved a great highway, and now we are driving down it."

Because I saw too much cool stuff to narrow it down to five, here are my six top picks for small-business tech tools for all things Apple.

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