Microsoft Project 2010
The official blog of the Microsoft Office product development group. Learn how to manage your work effectively

June, 2012

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Meet the Project 1.0 Creators


    clip_image002A little while ago the Project development team had the honor of meeting our makers so to say - Brian MacDonald and Jeff Lill. They're the original creators of the first version of Project for Windows which was released in 1990.

    They started as two local kids who grew up just a few miles from the Microsoft campus. In high school they thought it was cool how you could program little LED lights to go on and off. This fascination inspired their future in software development.

    They spent some time attending the University of Washington and while they were there built a spell checker app, Corrector.  Unfortunately it was the third spell checker app to the market and while InfoWorld rated it the best in the industry, they only sold 24 copies. Brian thanks his good spelling today though to having to manually enter the entire dictionary. Jeff even did some internships with Microsoft since they needed money to finance their company.

    After the spell checker app, they started working on a spreadsheet product for Macs called Crunch. Shortly after that, Microsoft came out with Excel and in Brian's words "really just crunched 'Crunch' ". At this time they had a lot of connections into Microsoft from Jeff’s internships and Brian's wife working there. They were at a party with Bill Gates and he mentioned they should stop competing and start working together. Microsoft was trying to recruit developers to make GUI (graphical user interface) apps for this new platform called Windows. They already had a spreadsheet and word processor but were looking for developers to create a database application (which would go on to be Access) and a project management application. Brian and Jeff chose the latter.

    While Brian and Jeff had a lot of passion around software, they didn't have much project management expertise. As Jeff said though, they were arrogant enough to know they could do it. So they dove in and looked at competitors, did a bunch of customer interviews including with another local company, Boeing, read project management books and attended conferences. It was actually while they were on a site visit to Boeing that a light bulb went off and they came to the decision that they wanted to build a toolkit that had a broad enough appeal that anyone could use it for project management. At the time, most project management applications were built by consultants and the software would back up the methodology that the consultant was selling. Most companies though already had methodologies in place and just wanted software to support it. This decision turned out to be a pivotal one and something we still strongly believe to be correct today. In Project 2010, you’ll see that you can manage projects how you want to manage them.

    How does it feel that people are still using the tool you built today for huge projects totaling billions of dollars?

    It feels great! We had always hoped that would be the case. - Jeff

    Anything about people's reactions to it surprise you?

    Right around the time the second version of Project was coming out, Windows started to just explode in popularity and along with it any software that ran on Windows. We initially saw our audience as people who had "Project Manager" in their title but found that the product had a much broader appeal. People were using it to create schedules/Gantt charts to help show their management/team that they had their acts together and were on top of things.  – Brian

    That was very exciting for them and helped the product really take off. They also thank this success to their initial goal of being a toolkit instead of specific solution. This is why features such as the ability to re-title columns were available back in the original release.

    What kinds of improvements did the second version of Project for Windows have over the first?

    Print preview, support for macros, and improvements to the leveling algorithm were some of the top ones.

    Yes, leveling was in v1. According to Jeff - "All the software solutions had it and all struggled with making it work how humans would expect".  We are still trying to make this easier today by adding features like change highlighting in Project 2007 and the Team Planner in Project 2010.

    What do you think of the current version of Project?

    It looks great. A lot looks familiar with the overall user interface but it definitely looks more modern (they were happy to hear that we now have more than 16 colors). Per the timeline view, that was what we were trying to achieve with the Gantt chart (sharing the schedule with stakeholders) but has an even broader appeal. - Brian

    Brian went on then to create Outlook which originally started out with the goal of being a task management application. It was only during coding and after much debate that they decided to add email support to it. We think they made the right decision. Jeff worked on Project a bit longer and then went on to do Team Manager. Today they both work in the Bing organization.

    Some fun facts:

    · There isn't a Microsoft Project 2.0 because someone else had copyrighted Project 2.0

    · Bill Gates tried to convince them to re-write Project in BASIC and they said no.

    · The last bug fixed for Project 1.0 for Windows was around supporting the Gantt Chart view with the Task Form.

    In short, I would like to thank Brian and Jeff for creating this great product that so many of us use every day and rely on to accomplish a wide range of projects.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Celebrate the top Project Partners!


    The 2012 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award Winners were announced for all categories across Microsoft Partner competencies, products and regions by Jon Roskill, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft.

    In our category - we recognize the best of the best Microsoft Project partners and award them the prestigious “Project and Portfolio Management Partner of the Year” award! This year - we have seen great case studies and stunning solutions that Microsoft Project partners have built - and all this underscores the great success and power of Project 2010!

    Please join us to celebrate the success of Project and Portfolio Management Partner (PPM) community and congratulate the winner and finalists!


    Project and Portfolio Management Partner of the Year 2012 – SharkPro Software!

    SharkPro Software 

    SharkPro Software built a unique solution that reduces the time, cost, and complexity of project and portfolio management deployment – yet by building on top of the Project Server 2010 – customers can seamlessly grow in their Project and Portfolio Management maturity. SharkPro Projects offers flexibility to be easily accommodated to customer business needs and includes on-premise and hosted deployment options. The scale of SharkPro Software extends through PPM Partner community and it’s becoming a world-wide solution for Microsoft Project 2010. Shark Pro’s offering integrates with other Microsoft products – like Dynamics and SharePoint – and thus offering customers a complete platform experience.


    Three award finalists


    BrightWork allows organizations to instantly deploy an initial affordable amount of work, project and portfolio management on SharePoint. This delivers immediate visibility and control and then over time organizations can evolve and mature by adding more templates and dashboards as needed and as ready. This best practices template approach pioneered by BrightWork allows organizations to start small and to grow and mature as ready and as needed. BrightWork uniquely supports the management of the mix of projects (in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Project Server), by aggregating the projects to one central set of dashboards in a SharePoint Portal.


    Prosperi has been focusing on Microsoft Project Server and SharePoint solutions and Consulting  since 2002. It has an impressive customer list that includes some of Brazil’s most prestigious enterprises and provides tailored solutions to companies in a range of different industries.

    EPMFAST: Project Server configured with project management methodology, carefully crafted to meet the requirements of diverse organizations. EPMFAST Mobile: Project Server dashboard for smartphones. METROwebpart: METRO style menu for SharePoint sites.


    UMT has consistently delivered innovative services and products that have helped transform the PPM industry. UMT has gained unparalleled understanding of customer needs by forming enduring relationships with Global 1000 organizations across a variety of industries. In June 2012, UMT announced the availability of the latest version of their financial management solution for Project Server 2010.

    UMT Project Essentials 2012 is arguably UMT’s most ambitious release to date providing powerful new capabilities including multi-currency support, financial snapshots, change request management and workflow design that seamlessly extend Project Server 2010. UMT Project Essentials is already being used by Project customers and partners around the world to gain visibility and control across project and portfolio financials. To learn more about this solution visit

    Honorable mentions solutions

    Number of solutions clearly stood out – some of them are listed below – featuring the Earned Value Management, Mobile Applications, Portfolio Management, Resource Management, Innovation Process Management and Line of the Business Integration. For more please refer to Microsoft Project 2010 Solution Spotlight.













    Honorable mentions case studies

    We have hand-picked 3 case studies in government and manufacturing built by the following partners. Click on the logo to learn more. For more Microsoft Project case-studies, please refer to Microsoft Project 2010 Customer Success.




    Jan Kalis, Twitter @MeetJKalis
    Product Marketing Manager | Microsoft Project/Visio
    Microsoft Corporation

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Microsoft at the Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit in London


    Following our time in Maryland last month for Gartner's annual PPM event in the US, the Microsoft Project team will also be sponsoring this year's Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit in London. The two day event represents…

    "Europe's premier gathering of program and portfolio management executives charged with improving how organizations select, implement and manage IT projects and investments. The Summit will help you anticipate portfolio fluctuations, and adapt your programs with a view to reducing risk and fully realizing the value."

    We’re looking forward to hearing from users like yourselves. You can stop by our booth and join us for a panel discussion on Tuesday, plus our presentation on Wednesday.

    Check back after the Summit for an update and event recap. In the meantime you can follow us on Twitter where we'll share the activity from London.

    Tuesday, June 19th



    Welcome Keynote


    Westminster B & C

    Solution Snapshot

    be there at 10:15am, 10:35am-10:55am

    Showcase floor- Plaza Suites 2 & 3

    Panel Session


    Main Auditorium - Westbourne B & C



    Showcase floor- Plaza Suites 2 & 3

    Wednesday, June 20th





    Westminister A

    Sponsor Session


    Westminister B

    And if you haven't already, be sure to check out the exicting announcement of Microsoft's Surface

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