Today we are launching the latest release of Microsoft Project. This event is an exciting one for my team and for me on many levels. Following Office 2010 RTM on April 16, today represents the culmination of over 3 years of development for the most innovative, the most advanced and the most integrated version of Office and Project we have ever released. It takes an incredible set of people to deliver on the kind of challenges that a new version of Project and Project Server represent. I would like to first thank my team, the Microsoft Project Business Unit, for their relentless efforts, their innovative spirits and technical depth, and more importantly for their unwavering passion in driving this complex project to completion. I also wanted to recognize and thank the myriad of people who contributed directly or indirectly to this product, our customers, our partners, our MVPs, our TAP team, the Project planning and marketing organizations, our Field, our support and services folks, all of whom have had a great influence in shaping Project 2010.
Project 2010 is the most significant release for Project in over a decade and delivers new innovative capabilities across the Microsoft Project family of products: Project Standard 2010, Project Professional 2010 and Project Server 2010.
· Project 2010 features the simple and intuitive Microsoft Fluent user interface and dramatic ease-of-use enhancements for both occasional and professional project managers.
· Project and portfolio Management are now unified in a single server to provide end-to-end capabilities – a consistent Web interface, common data store, and centralized administration.
· Project Server 2010 is built on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Enterprise Edition bringing together the leading PPM software with the powerful SharePoint business collaboration platform.
· Project 2010 integrates with familiar Microsoft technologies such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office Outlook, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, providing powerful work management capabilities delivered through familiar and connected tools.
In summary, 2010 represents significant investments on both our client and server. The fresh, simple and intuitive features of Microsoft Project 2010 will enable teams and organizations of all sizes to analyze, select, plan and deliver the right projects. On the client, we have focused on improving the experience and capabilities, adding groundbreaking views such as Timeline and Team Planner and new concepts like our Fluent user interface, while allowing new users familiar with Office tools to fully leverage the power of Project Standard and Professional with minimal ramp up time. On the server, Project 2010 is a revolutionary new release of Microsoft’s EPM solution built on the Project Server 2007 foundation and fully integrated with SharePoint 2010. By centralizing all aspects of project and portfolio management on a single, unified platform, fully leveraging the advanced features and capabilities that SharePoint Enterprise offers, we are delivering with Project 2010 the most comprehensive, integrated EPM solution on the market today.
As I talk to Project customers worldwide, it has become clear to me that over the past few years Project has become a mission critical tool in the enterprise application fabric. With 20 million users worldwide and over 10,000 named accounts on our EPM solution, it is no surprise that when we set out to define the 2010 areas of investments, we decided on quality as our top business driver and we prioritized every step of the way accordingly. Consistent with our original goal of making 2010 a “no brainer upgrade” for our EPM customers, the Project engineering team put a few stakes in the ground early on in the release:
· Upgrade from 2007 will be smooth and easy: we are taking an incremental approach to changes to our database and our web services, as such we are offering a predictable and robust upgrade experience from Project Server 2007.
· Compatibility with 2007 is top of mind: compatibility with partner and customer solutions was the main driver for this goal, we ensured that Project 2010’s web services are backward-compatible with 2007.
· Driven by customer feedback: Any area that received significant investment was driven by direct customer feedback. We worked with our partner ecosystem, Field, MVPs and, of course, TAP customers to refine or improve key areas in Project and PWA.
· Reduce barriers of adoption: From ensuring a consistent experience with SharePoint to removing technical roadblocks such as our previous dependence on ActiveX controls, we’ve worked towards making PWA even easier to deploy, adopt and use.
· Test the product broadly, deeply and early: By putting a new structure in place to leverage our early adopters both externally (TAP) and internally (internal “dogfooding”), Project 2010 is the most real-world tested version of Project at release time. Our TAP program has allowed us to discover a total of 1439 issues, 825 of which were discovered unique and fixed.
· Benefit from Project 2007’s technical feedback: Thanks to the close technical relationship between Project 2007 and Project 2010’s codebases, we’ve been able to roll-up every single fix (Service Pack, Cumulative Update) from 2007 to 2010. At our release on April 16, Project 2010 already had 3+ years of customer feedback baked into it.
These guiding principles have not only shaped the final product, but have had a profound impact on how the Project team designs, develops and tests software for the 2010 release and for releases of Project to come.
Today we are marking the official launch of Office and Project 2010, for those who follow the news around Project however, you have been able to see, hear or even experience the new innovations we are bringing to market in 2010, through one of the many events the Project marketing and product teams have organized following Project Conference 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona last September. With over 1200 registered attendees, 250 partners and a representation of 731 companies from 49 countries and 47 states, Project Conference 2009 was one of the most successful and impactful to date.
The buzz and anticipation created during the event was incredible and led up to the unprecedented success of our Project 2010 Beta program. Additionally, the Project 2010 Beta campaign website garnered a significant number of visitors and a very high level of interest from existing as well as new Project users.
Finally, the Office 2010 launch today is your opportunity to participate and learn. Please join us at www.the2010event.com to see Project 2010 in action. As you document and share your launch experience, please remember to “tweet” and “RT” and to utilize #join2010 hashtag. Visit www.microsoft.com/project as your one-stop-shop to learn more about Project 2010 today and to download the free trial.
Thank you for reading this post, I hope you will enjoy the launch activities and events surrounding the release of Office and Project 2010.
Ludovic Hauduc – General Manager – Microsoft Project Business Unit