Microsoft Announces Microsoft Project 98

CHICAGO, Sept. 29, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. yesterday announced Microsoft® Project 98, a major upgrade to its best-selling project management software for the Windows® operating system. With an installed base of over 2 million users worldwide, Microsoft Project has been completely redesigned to better meet the planning needs of all users in organizations.

“Microsoft Project 98 is the most significant release of the product to date,” said Richard Fade, vice president of the desktop applications division at Microsoft. “We’ve invested over 100 person-years of effort in rebuilding this product from the ground up, giving project managers the tools they need to accurately schedule and track their projects.”

Early customer response to Microsoft Project 98 has been enthusiastic, and the product is already being deployed by organizations around the world. Microsoft has worked with over 50 different companies worldwide as part of the Microsoft Project 98 Early Adopters Program. Organizations of all sizes and types are represented in this program, including companies such as The Boeing Co., Kaiser Permanente, GE Capital Corp., Litton Guidance and Control Systems, Nordstrom, and AT & T Wireless Services.

Powerful New Scheduling Features Give Users Greater Control

Microsoft completely redesigned Microsoft Project 98 to include improved scheduling, resource management and costing features that give project managers the flexibility to plan and track all the details of their projects. Examples of the new features are Resource Contouring, Task Splitting, Cost Rate Tables, Effort-Driven Scheduling, and two new Usage views. The views allow users to view and edit period-by-period work and cost information. Additional improvements allow project managers to consolidate multiple projects, model and manage cross-project dependencies, and coordinate shared resources across their organizations.

Improved Communications Help Keep Everyone Informed and Involved

The communications features of Microsoft Project have been enhanced to embrace the Internet. Project managers can now embed hyperlinks to other documents and Web sites in their plans and can save their project files directly to HTML for publishing on the Web. In addition, Microsoft Project 98 includes everything project managers need to delegate tasks and receive status updates on the Web from team members. Microsoft Project 98 ships with both Microsoft Personal Web Server and Microsoft Internet Explorer so customers can easily move to this unique Web-based solution.

“Microsoft Project 98 is easy to use and extremely flexible,” said John Roddy of Nordstrom Information Services. “We are excited about the new Internet features that enable us to publish our plans to the Web so that everyone on the team can keep informed of project status.”

Compatible With the Way Users Work Today

Although offered as a standalone product, Microsoft Project 98 is a member of the Office family of applications, which means customers will find the interface familiar. The product’s expanded user assistance is now accessible through the animated Office Assistant, which was first introduced in Microsoft Office 97. Project managers can use a new wizard to automatically graph their project information in Microsoft Excel. In addition, the programmability features of Microsoft Project have been enhanced with the inclusion of the Visual Basic® programming system Applications Edition, version 5.0, a common development environment shared across Office 97 applications. Microsoft Project 98 also integrates with other systems in organizations. Project managers can save multiple project files in a single database and can also integrate selected project information with other corporate systems by using new import and export maps.

Trial Version Is Available Now

A full-featured, 60-day trial version of Microsoft Project 98 is available for downloading now on the Microsoft Project Web site at . Microsoft Project 98 is scheduled to be available in October 1997 at an estimated price of $499 for new users, and $199 for users of any previous version of Microsoft Project. To use Microsoft Project 98, users need a personal computer with a 486 or higher processor; the Microsoft Windows 95 or Windows NT® operating system version 3.51 or later; 12 MB of RAM on the Windows 95 operating system or 16 MB on the Windows NT operating system; 20-40 MB of available hard disk space (30 MB for a typical installation); and a VGA or higher-resolution video adapter. A Windows-compatible network and MAPI-compliant mail system or a leading Web server and Web browser are required for workgroup functionality.

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