For pretty much as long as commercial computers have been commonplace, Microsoft have dominated the market for useful, intuitive software programs. In fact, according to the most recent statistics in 2016, more than 1.2 billion people worldwide use at least one Microsoft Office program.
And even today, more than 40 years after it was founded, the tech giant is still winning new customers and improving their products. The latest service to receive an upgrade is Microsoft Project, which was teased a little over a year ago in a press release:
“Introducing modern work management with Microsoft Project. It all starts with Home, a new service that allows you to see and manage all your projects in one place. From Home, you can easily create projects using the new project management service. Versatile by design, this new service is designed to support any role, skill level, or project type.”
Now, after a substantial wait, it’s finally here!
The subscription-based service allows teams to work collaboratively on one platform in order to schedule, track, and complete projects. With similar functions to Trello and Asana, Microsoft’s offering will feel familiar to anyone who has used a project-tracking service before (Microsoft or not).
Now with an updated interface, the program feels much cleaner. Users can now be added to teams in much more straightforward ways, and switching between grids, boards and timelines is much simpler than it was previously.
Moreover, the updated platform incorporates some excellent BI tools. With customisable dashboards and easy-to-interpret visuals, data generated from projects can be easily collated and understood.
The way that Project can be accessed has changed, too.
“As part of this launch, we’re also excited to announce a new subscription plan: Project Plan 1,” Microsoft explains.
“Project Plan 1 is for teams that need the essential capabilities of managing task-oriented projects like assigning tasks and dependencies and scheduling and tracking project work using lists, boards, and timelines.”
Subscription plans for Project Plan 1 start at just $10 a month, with more premium offerings available at a slightly higher cost.
And already Microsoft are looking to build on the service further.
“Looking forward, we will release more exciting capabilities in the new Project, including resource management, budget analysis, and time and expense tracking,” they say. “These powerful features will enable you to streamline more complex initiatives and help your business maximize ROI.”
Compared to some of Microsoft’s other offerings, Project might not seem all that groundbreaking. However, considering that Microsoft Teams now has more than 500,000 business customers (comprising a total of approximately 13 million daily users), having a service that is integrated with Microsoft’s other offerings means a much smoother ride for those already on board.
In particular, organisations with remote workers or multiple locations will benefit from the ease with which users can communicate through the program. File-sharing, messages, updates – all of it can be managed in one central location, meaning that working in silo will be a thing of the past.
Far from a mere update, then, Microsoft Project is actually a pretty big deal. And it’s only set to get better!