Microsoft Office Project Expands Its Reach

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-10-28 Print this article Print

Attendees at the user conference will see prototypes of code for the next version of Office Project.

SEATTLE—With the release of a new product and a major acquisition under his belt, Mike Angiulo, general manager for Microsoft Office Project, will give the opening keynote at its first user conference in some eighteen months here Oct. 29. The address will concentrate on the release earlier this year of Office Project 2007 and an update on the acquisition of UMT, Angiulo told eWEEK ahead of his keynote.
"In the past, many people felt that Project wasnt a product for them because it was oriented towards very structured types of projects," he said. "One of the major changes we made in Project 2007 is to be able to handle all work across an organization. So we have professional services firms using the product at scale to track things as simple as a consultant on site with a customer."
An example of the new kind of user for the product is Microsofts own human resources department, which was the first user of the Portfolio Server technology acquired the under the UMT deal. To read more about how Microsoft bolstered its Project management tools, click here. Microsofts HR department is running the server software to track the strategic priorities of its investments across the company, along with candidates for the different kinds of programs and the costs, risks and potential benefits associated with these, he said. Attendees at the Office Project Conference also will hear Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in his keynote Oct. 30 about the Redmond, Wash., companys vision for the future, product road map and best practices around things such as portfolio management workflow and end-user training. Attendees will also get to see prototypes of code for the next version of Office Project actually running in a hands-on usability lab, and they will be asked to give feedback on this to make sure that the development team is designing a product people need, he said. Read more here about how Microsofts mass market play targeted enterprise tools. The next version of Project will continue the move from a desktop-centric application to Web-based collaboration by enabling the project manager to edit their projects directly in Project Web Access with features such as multiple-level undo and change highlighting, Angiulo said. Last years UMT acquisition brought with it new technology and analytics, and its code became a shipping Microsoft product after a couple of months, Angiulo said. In his keynote, Ballmer will talk about his vision for delivering software, including the new software-plus-services model and why the company is well positioned to continue delivering innovative solutions in this space. Angiulo said its important to customers that Microsoft has an on-premises server along with services in the cloud. Project was already in that world with its current online hosted EPM Connect service, which allowed its more than 1,000 partners to use the service to show off their products. Microsofts Steve Ballmer has urged partners to embrace software plus services. Click here to read more. "If they want to show how timesheets can hook up to SAP or how they can do advanced reports on rich data sets, they are able to use this real application and show their customers its power as if it was installed," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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