The newest Microsoft Office 365 family member: Project Online

Summary:Office 365, Microsoft's Google Apps competitor, is getting a new and expected addition: A cloud-hosted version of Microsoft Project.

Up until now, when rattling off the list of services that comprise Office 365, I always mentioned Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online (along with Office Web Apps, for good measure). But with the coming Wave 15 version of Office 365, that list gets an addition: Project Online.

projectonline

There were strong hints a year ago that Microsoft planned to add Project (and Visio) to its Office 365 line-up, along with Dynamics CRM Online and Windows Intune. The thinking: Users could opt for as many or few of these Microsoft-hosted services as they wanted when creating their own particular cloud bundle. And the hope is the interdependencies and integration among these services will encourage adoption of more of them. (Real-time IMs inside of your project? Check.)

With the coming Office 2013 rollout, Project Online becomes a full-fledged Office 365 member. Project, Microsoft's project-management offering, will be available hosted in the cloud (Project Online) as part of Office 365 for businesses.

"It (the new Project) can also be deployed on-premises or a combination of both," a Microsoft spokesperson reminded me today.

Here's what the new Project family will look like with the coming wave. (I think this is a close-to-comprehensive list. As usual, Microsoft's naming leaves a bit to be desired.):

Project Online: This is the Microsoft-hosted Project Portfolio Management (PPM) service. "It is for people who need to participate online from virtually anywhere on almost any device," a spokesperson said.

Project Web App: This is yet another member of the Office Web Apps family . It complements the webified versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Lync. Update: And Access, as blogger Roger Jennings noted. Yep, there is now an Access Web App that is part of the Office 15/Office 2013 wave, too.

Project 2013: The full set of project-management capabilities on the desktop. Available in Professional and Standard versions.

Project Server 2013: The on-premises PPM server. This version requires SharePoint, which is sold separately. Project Server also has been available as a service from a handful of Microsoft hosting partners for some time now.

Project Pro for Office 365: The subscription-based version of Project Professional 2013. In other words, this is a version of Project that you pay for on a per-mont/per-year basis (as opposed to one you buy with a perpetual license).

Project Online with Project Pro for Office 365: This SKU includes Project Pro for Office 365 — for people who need full project management capabilities on the desktop -- but who also want anywhere access "on almost any device."

Microsoft has made a public preview test build of the new Project Online available.

Topics: Cloud, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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