With the year coming to an end, I want to thank everyone for their support & wish everyone a very happy new year! 2010 was a busy & exciting year for Microsoft! As I mentioned in a previous post, we saw some great exciting technology on the consumer and the enterprise side: Kinect, Office 2010 (including Project 2010 & SharePoint 2010), Windows Phone 7, IE 9.0 beta, Office 365 beta just to name a few.  It was nice to see some recognition – for example the article from TheStreet @ http://www.thestreet.com/story/10953596/1/10-top-innovative-companies.html that lists Microsoft as the most innovate company.

As for me, I had the pleasure to be very involved in the Office 2010 release and use/evangelize the other technologies. I thought I’d share just a few of my personal highlights on the Office side of the house with a special focus on Project:

- Project Conference 2009 & SharePoint Conference 2009. I’m cheating here since both these events happened in the second half of 2009, but they were critical to a successful launch in May 2010. Both of these conferences brought together thousands of people who shaped the 2010 products. Early exposure and interaction with the product led to incredible community feedback on the beta releases which in turn led to high quality RTM versions of Project 2010 & SharePoint 2010. You can check out the SharePoint Conference keynotes @ http://blogs.msdn.com/b/arpans/archive/2009/10/20/sharepoint-conference-keynotes.aspx.

- Office 2010 Launch. In May, we launched Office 2010. What made the 2010 launch special was that unlike typical launches, this one had a physical & virtual presence. I also don’t see “launch” as a point in time – we had regional events all over the world leading up to launch as well as after launch. I had an opportunity to meet customers & partners all over the world including India (as part of Ignite),  Russia and Australia – three beautiful counties with vibrant Project & SharePoint communities!

- Worldwide Partner Conference. It was just around this time that I took on the role of Director of Product Management for Microsoft Project. This event was personally a great opportunity for me to connect with WW Project partners. While I was on the road, I also took the opportunity to draft an article on Project & SharePoint integration @ http://blogs.msdn.com/b/arpans/archive/2010/07/26/microsoft-project-2010-and-sharepoint-foundation-2010.aspx

- PMI Global Congress. One of the key tenets of our team is customer & partner connection. We want to have an opportunity to learn from the greater Project community so we can build great software. Events, such as PMI Global Congress, are one way we connect with customers & partners. PMI was a great opportunity to connect with Project Managers and show them Project 2010 as well as get their feedback. It was great to see the excitement around the latest release. You can find the event recap @ http://blogs.msdn.com/b/arpans/archive/2010/10/14/microsoft-project-at-the-pmi-global-congress.aspx

- Office 365 Announcement. On October 19th, which happens to be exactly one year after the SharePoint Conference, we announced Office 365. A very exciting milestone and some great integration scenarios with Project 2010. You can find more information @ http://blogs.msdn.com/b/project/archive/2010/10/19/enabling-better-collaborative-project-management-with-office-365-and-project-professional-2010.aspx

- ALM with Visual Studio Team Foundation & Project Server Integration. Over the last few months, we’ve made several announcements that highlight how Project Server 2010 is a holistic Project Management solution for the Enterprise. An example of such an announcement is the beta availability of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack. You can get more information @ http://blogs.msdn.com/b/project/archive/2010/12/07/announcing-visual-studio-team-foundation-server-2010-and-project-server-integration-feature-pack-beta.aspx

- Project Momentum Conference. Last month, the Project team hosted Project Momentum 2010 EMEA in Barcelona, Spain. It was a great opportunity for us to learn from the Project community as well as an opportunity for the community to share best practices with each other. You can read more information about it as well as get access to the event content @ http://blogs.msdn.com/b/project/archive/2010/12/15/project-momentum-2010-emea.aspx

The one thing that’s not on the list that I’ll write about next week is how I had an opportunity to use Project to plan, develop & release a Windows Phone 7 application (named Poker Analyzer) that just got published to the marketplace today!

I hope everyone has good health & happiness in 2011.