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A letter to our Microsoft Project community

Dear Microsoft Project users –


Today, we announced an expansive vision for Microsoft Project—one that propels us towards a new era of modern work management. In this letter, I want to give you, our loyal Project fans, more context and explain why we’re making these fundamental shifts and how you and your organizations will benefit from them.

 

With millions of users in countless organizations, the Microsoft Project user base has grown to be one of the largest, most experienced communities of project management professionals in the world. So many of you have helped us shape what Project is today by giving us feedback, suggesting new features, and piloting new releases of Project desktop app, Project server, and Project Online (Project web app). Thank you for making Microsoft Project one of the most popular, most robust, most beloved project management tools out there!

 

As we build the next generation of this product, you continue to be our North Star. We’ve heard consistent feedback from you that project management tools should be a whole lot simpler – without sacrificing power and scalability. We know there’s a growing demand for solutions that help organizations track large-scale, cross-functional projects, resource and program planning, and portfolio management. And as more organizations rely on data to make informed decisions, we know executives want better visibility and predictive insights across all work streams in their enterprise.

 

We knew right away that addressing these changing needs would require not small, iterative improvements, but fundamental shifts in strategy and product development. We started by building a new service from the ground up, harnessing the power, scalability and agility of the Microsoft cloud.

 

The new Project service (or simply, Project) represents the next chapter of the product. The user experience is beautifully visual, intuitive and very easy-to-use. The service is quite versatile, scaling from simple projects to rigorous waterfall planning to enterprise-wide portfolio management, and because it’s built on the Microsoft Common Data Service for Apps, it integrates easily with other tools and systems like SharePoint, PowerApps, PowerBI, Microsoft Flow, Office 365, and Dynamics 365. As part of your existing Project Online license, all this new innovation will be available for you and your teams.

 

Better experiences, more business value

 

Because you are a long-time user, we know you’ve invested heavily in Microsoft Project. Our goal with the new Project is to further extend the value that your investments deliver. To that end, the next generation of Microsoft Project offers a wide range of new features and capabilities that everyone on your team will benefit from, including simpler interfaces, greater flexibility, and improved visibility. You can read more here about the new capabilities in Microsoft Project that will make it easy for your people to manage projects more efficiently and effectively, no matter what their skill level is or how they prefer to work.  These new capabilities will be available to you at no additional cost within your current Project Online Professional and Project Online Premium subscriptions, extending the value of the investments you already have made with us.

 

Project experts in your organization can continue to rely on the full power of the Project desktop app, while accidental project managers can start using the new Project service.  With all your project data in one place, you can create reports and manage resources centrally. With more of your organization in Project, instead of unmanaged tools on your network, your organization will have improved IT governance and oversight. As we deliver more capabilities that make program and portfolio management simpler and more visual, we look forward to working with you to reinvent the discipline of program and portfolio management in ways that make your organization more successful.

 

Our commitment to you

 

As we launch this next generation of Project, we’re committed to helping you and your teams make this transition smoothly. We’ll continue to give you visibility into our release roadmap, and we’ll also help you evaluate your project management requirements, so you’ll be ready to move to the new Project when you’re sure it meets all your needs. When you’re ready to make the transition, you can start creating and managing new projects in the new Project service while continuing to manage existing projects to completion in your Project Online. With this side-by-side approach, you won’t need to worry about data migration. This side-by-side approach may not work for some organizations, so we also plan to offer migration tools for standard deployment and guidance for setting up Project Online projects for fast and successful migration. And in cases where migration is particularly complex, our ecosystem of Project partners will be standing by, ready to help you.

 

Moving forward, much of our focus will be on driving innovation in the new Project service. But we will also continue to deliver performance and security improvements for Project Online, so you can continue to use it with confidence. In addition, for customers who need to host projects on-premises for regulatory reasons or to meet other requirements, we’ve released Project Professional and Standard 2019 and will release Project Server 2019 in the next few weeks.

 

In closing…

 

If you would like to learn more about the new Microsoft Project, please check out this FAQ. We’ll also provide regular updates and we encourage you to check back on TechCommunity or with your Microsoft representative at any time to get more information.

 

We’re so excited to see what you and the rest of the Project community will accomplish for your organizations with the new Project. More than that, we’re very grateful for the opportunity to serve you and look forward to deepening our partnership with you in the future.

 

—Howard

 

 

 

 

9 Comments
Occasional Visitor

Excellent way to create panic in MS Project Community. It is very nice that new Project Service is new North Star. However what about COMPATIBILITY??? Partners and customers invested millions dollars in MSPS/PO components and customization. New platform incompatible with this ecosystem. Of cause MS can extent support for MSPS/PO. However CIOs after reading such statement will close many MSPS/PO projects. Nobody invest in product after statement of vendor about end of its development. Only support for old implementations.  

Microsoft
@MVP Project We are dedicated to helping all of our customers make the transition to the new service. The new platform and tooling is a dramatic leap forward for all of our customers and partners. The product that people have purchased will continue to grow and evolve in ways that will help our customers manage their business and projects in more flexible ways than ever. Please reach out to us with any questions about the new features in Project. 
Occasional Visitor

 @Howard Crow I completely support new Microsoft's strategy. MSPS/PO are problem for MS many years. Very little revenue comparable with MSP desktop but big problems with stability (i.e. very expensive support for MS and customers/partners).  I expect such move from Microsoft and close all investments in MSPS/PO several years ago. We develop for desktop client only. So collapse of MSPS/PO is not problem for us. But many MS partners will lose all investments in MSPS/PO. I think this companies near bankrupt now. We can invest in Project Service if MS can resolve main MSPS problem - STABILITY. Second problem is extended support for resource management. Current Dynamics Project Service has VERY VERY LIMITED resource features. Without resource leveling for entire resource pool many MSPS customers will move to Primavera or another MS competitors rather than new Project Service. Dashboards are good for inexperienced customers. Enterprise customers request resources features rather than vanilla UI. 

Microsoft

@MVP Project I am afraid your information is mostly incorrect. We continue to support Project Server - we just announced Project Server 2019 at Ignite in fact. So there is no 'collapse'. Our direction is obviously to the cloud, and there you continue to see innovation rolling out - Our new Home Page and Roadmap features are the beginning of a new wave of innovation we are really excited about. I have no idea what you mean by 'vanilla UI', the Power Platform is highly customizable and configurable - customers and partners can adapt Project Online to their business.  I encourage you to learn about the awesome new technology in Project Online before passing any judgement. The future is very bright for the #1 Project Management system in the world. 

 

-H

Occasional Visitor

@Howard Crow It is not my opinion only. Look how IT press describe this situation. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/09/28/microsoft_project/ The Register have 10 millions unique visitor per month according  SimilarWeb. The Register agree that MS Project Server 2019 LAST version of the product. It is conclusion from yours post. May be you say more than need. However if vendor declare statement that MSPS don't have all new features of PO it is mean stop development of the product. If the vendor declare statement that PO will have only security and performance improvements it is mean that the vendor stop development of the product and keep support line only. Now MSPS/PO in same situation as "long life" Windows XP with extended support. But it is obvious that Microsoft management prohibited any situation with  internal competition Microsoft products. Only MSPS/PO or Project Service should survive. We know who :)  

Microsoft

@MVP Project I am not sure what more I can say. We will continue to support our customers as we always have. We are excited for customers to get the new home and Roadmap features in Project Online and connect them to all of their existing Projects. 

Occasional Visitor

@Howard Crow Support and developing of product is different things. Support is only limited extension life for discontinued MS product. Under license MSPS/PO life limited  for 3-5 years. Some enterprise customers can request additional support for additional money. This is same situation when Microsoft sale Windows Vista but users use Windows XP. Now Project Service like Vista and MSPS/PO like Windows XP. IMHO, Project Service will need next version for required stability and all EPM features before convert to "Windows 7" state. :) 

Occasional Visitor

@Howard Crow Is there somewhere we can see what these features will look like?  Especially the Roadmap. I am quite curious. 

Microsoft