Microsoft is announcing today the latest step in its next wave of Office-related products, Project 2010, which the company says is the biggest Project release in a decade. The software has been given a significant upgrade with an eye toward simplifying project management.
Project 2010 is built on SharePoint Server 2010 in order to enhance collaboration capability, make for easy integration with Microsoft Office and Exchange, and allow for easy deployment and scalability. "The fresh, simple and intuitive features of Microsoft Project 2010 will enable teams and organizations of all sizes to select and deliver the right projects on time and on budget," said Chris Capossela, senior vice president, Information Worker Product Management Group at Microsoft.
[ InfoWorld's J. Peter Bruzzese got an early look at Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and was impressed with what he saw. ]
Project 2010 also integrates project management and portfolio management on a single server, meaning all aspects of PPM (project and portfolio management) share a data store with centralized administration. End-users will have a common UI, and customizable workflow controls allow for better PPM and resource allocation. Also featured are new views like Timeline and Team Planner, Web-based project editing, and user-controlled scheduling. As with other 2010 releases like Office 2010 and Visio 2010, Microsoft is aiming to provide a consistent user experience across devices and products.
On the technical side, ActiveX dependency is gone in Project 2010 in order to improve security, and 64-bit compatibility boosts performance.
Microsoft has cut the number of Project editions from four down to three: Project Standard 2010, Project Professional 2010, and Microsoft Project Server 2010. A public beta is due later this year, and full release is expected in the first half of 2010.