Microsoft Project 2000 and Microsoft Project Central Now Generally Available at Retail

CHICAGO, April 18, 2000 — Today at Windows World 2000-COMDEX/Spring 2000, Microsoft Corp. announced the general retail availability of Microsoft® Project 2000, the next generation of the world’s best-selling project-management software. The company also announced the availability of Microsoft Project Central, a new Web-based companion product that delivers a flexible and scalable way for knowledge workers on teams of any size to manage projects collaboratively.

Customer Input Becomes Design Goals – Easier Data Collection, More Flexible Analysis and Improved Communications

“Customers are an integral part of developing any new product release,”
said Todd Warren, general manager of Microsoft Project.
“With over 5 million Microsoft Project users, we get lots of feedback and suggestions. Many suggestions turn directly into product features. For this release, customer and partner feedback clustered in three main areas: They wanted easier data collection, more flexible analysis and improved communications. Microsoft Project, together with Microsoft Project Central, delivers on these design goals.”

Microsoft Project Central Makes Data Collection Easier Than Ever

Two components of easier data collection are a simple interface and centralized storage, with Microsoft Project 2000 and Microsoft Project Central, users can use a simple browser-based client to store data into a Microsoft SQL Server TM back end.

“By enabling project information to be stored in Microsoft SQL Server and to be accessed over the Web, Microsoft Project 2000 and Microsoft Project Central provide a winning combination of power and accessibility for managing projects,”
said Paul Driver, managing director at Program Planning Professionals ( ).
“Moreover, Microsoft Project 2000 and Microsoft Project Central provide these added capabilities at a cost that’s significantly lower than other, comparably featured project management products.”

Flexibility in Data Analysis Ensures Project Managers Get the Information They Need

Microsoft Project 2000 and Microsoft Project Central provide users with greater flexibility in data analysis and delivery and greater scalability for managing large projects.
“This makes Microsoft Project 2000 and Microsoft Project Central ideal for our fast-moving and dynamic e-commerce initiatives, which tend to involve teams distributed across the enterprise and working on multiple concurrent projects,”
said Peggy Tanacha, senior director of e-Commerce Technologies at Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co.
“These tools meet our requirements for robustness and ease-of-use while enabling us to track tasks, time lines, budget and resources on the project level as well as the portfolio level.”

Pulling It All Together, Advantage Is in the Architecture

Of special interest to solution providers are the opportunities made available through the Web-based architecture of Microsoft Project Central.
“We are really excited about providing new services around the Microsoft Project Central architecture because we feel that it enables companies to make the most of their Web resources and provides an excellent foundation for knowledge management,”
says Todd Rooke, a principal at Rainier Technology.
“What’s more, the improved programmability of Microsoft Project 2000 and the rich user experience provided by Microsoft Project Central combine to create unlimited possibilities for building project-management applications that facilitate collaboration and communication.”

Unsurpassed Customer and Partner Demand

“Because we delivered on our customer feedback, demand has been unsurpassed,”
Warren said.
“In the first three days of April alone we distributed over 5,000 copies of the trial version through our Web site. That’s on top of the over 500,000 beta copies delivered since last November.”

Customers can acquire Microsoft Project 2000 and Microsoft Project Central by visiting their local reseller or going to . In addition, a 60-day trial version can be ordered online for just the cost of shipping and handling.

For more information consumers can visit the Microsoft Project 2000 Web site at .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device

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