Project portfolio management (choosing between possible projects) has become more important to organisations due at least in part to shrinking budgets, and Microsoft Project 2010 will unify project management and project portfolio management, Microsoft's director of Project, Seth Patton, told iTWire.
Microsoft first released Project Server around a decade ago (to take care of the collaborative side of project management), and Project Portfolio Server arrived in 2007 following an acquisition.
With the 2010 release, these two components will be combined as Project Server 2010, with a single interface, repository and infrastructure (built on SharePoint).
Among the features will be the ability to create dashboards to show project status at a glance, to produce reports in Excel, and to create business rules and workflows for projects.
There's more on Project Server 2010, Project 2010 and Project 2010 Professional on page 2.
Project 2010 itself has a revamped user interface that features the Ribbon introduced in Office 2007. Other changes allow more free-form scheduling, Patton told iTWire, as well as permitting the entry of information in a top-down or bottom-up manner.
New views include timelines (because executives don't always 'get' Gantt charts, Patton observed). Tasks can be dragged and dropped onto a timeline, and timelines can be copied and pasted into Office documents.
For simple projects, it will be possible to bypass the application and use a web interface instead.
The capabilities of Project 2010 Professional will include publishing task lists to SharePoint (for simpler collaborative situations that don't require Project Server). When tasks are marked as being complete in SharePoint, that status will be returned to Project Professional.
Project 2010 is scheduled for release in June alongside the rest of Office 2010, with a launch event planned for mid May.