Microsoft Project 2000 Extends Project Management Capabilities to a Wide Audience

REDMOND, Wash., March 1, 2000 — Microsoft today released to manufacturing the new Microsoft Project 2000 and Microsoft Project Central software, which have been in public beta since November 15. Microsoft said interest in Microsoft Project is at an all-time high, with more than 400,000 copies of the beta in customers’ hands.

Todd Warren, general manager of Microsoft Project, attributes this success to his team’s customer-driven development of Microsoft Project 2000.
“We really focused on incorporating our customers’ needs into the new product,” Warren said. “They asked us to improve Microsoft Project in three main areas — collaboration, flexible analysis and organizational efficiency. One result of this customer-centric approach is the strong demand we have seen for the beta and unprecedented early demand for the final product from our channel partners.”

The Value of Collaboration

Microsoft Project Central is the Web-based companion product included with Microsoft Project 2000 that makes collaboration quick and easy. One organization that is taking advantage of Microsoft Project Central is KPMG, a global professional advisory firm that provides consulting, tax and legal, financial advisory and assurance services. In the company’s McLean, Va. office, senior analyst Anthony Evans and his colleagues are using the tool on a half-dozen software-development projects for work tracking and knowledge management.

To Evans, the value of Project Central is right there in its name.
“The tool really does centralize project management so that you can take a project plan, resource-load it, and then let everyone see how their part affects the whole,”
he says.
“All the project information is there in one place and available for updating in an instant, right through the browser.”

Flexible Analysis of Project Information

In addition to increasing team productivity, Microsoft Project 2000 provides users with greater flexibility for viewing and analyzing data and for compiling reports. Extensive new grouping tools enable project managers to manipulate data to obtain the exact information they need, in the exact format they require. Also, a wide selection of new graphical indicators enables them to easily flag aspects of a project that are not going as planned.

Greater Organizational Efficiency

Now, with Microsoft Project 2000, organizations have an easier way to manage companywide projects that span multiple teams, departments and workgroups. Performance improvements make running project plans faster than ever before. Microsoft Project 2000 also takes advantage of the Microsoft Windows Installer, designed to keep users up and running. Developers can use Microsoft Project 2000 as the basis for their own custom planning solutions, enabling organizations to address their specific planning needs.

Jump-Start Productivity with Microsoft Project Templates

Also shipping with Microsoft Project 2000 is a set of twelve timesaving templates that customers can use to jump-start their projects. There are templates for software development, construction and product introduction, to name a few. In addition, three of the templates included are focused on the deployment of Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Office 2000 and Microsoft Project 2000, making it easy for customers deploying these technologies to get started quickly.

Customers have even more to look forward to now that Microsoft Project 2000 has been released to manufacturing — they can expect the shipped product to be available on the Web and through retail stores in the first half of April 2000.

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