Public beta of Microsoft Project open-source competitor to launch at Linuxworld

Public beta of Microsoft Project open-source competitor to launch at Linuxworld

Summary: On August 7, the first day of the LinuxWorld San Francisco show, Projity will officially release a public beta of its freely downloadable open-source competitor to Microsoft Project project-management software.

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Microsoft's Office family of products is poised to get yet more open-source competition. OpenProj on Ubuntu

On August 7, the first day of the LinuxWorld San Francisco show, Projity will officially release a public beta of OpenProj, its freely downloadable open-source competitor to Microsoft Project project-management software.

There are already more than 50 customers testing the Projity OpenProj software, according to company officials. The OpenProj product works on Windows, Linux, Unix and Mac OsX, Projity says. OpenProj can open native Microsoft Project files, Projity officials said.

"(Microsoft) Project is not included in any Office Suites so it is not pre-installed on any computers which means even Windows users need to purchase very expensive software for their project needs," according to a press statement released by Projity.

My ZDNet blogging colleague Dana Blankenhorn recently noted that there are talks underway to integrate OpenProj into OpenOffice. As far as I know, Projity is not intending to announce any kind of OpenOffice partnership this week, however.

Projity already offers a software-as-a-service Project-ON-Demand offering. The company says it has signed up more than 100 companies as customers of its SaaS product, with much of the demand coming from non-U.S.-based companies.

Microsoft has been relatively quiet about its future plans for Microsoft Project. Is there a "Live Project" service in the works? I wouldn't be surprised. And Microsoft's next version of its Team Foundation Server, codenamed "Rosario," includes hooks into Microsoft' Project Server product.

Do you think OpenProj will make any inroads against Microsoft Project?

Topics: Open Source, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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25 comments
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  • one more nail in M$ coffin

    The ingenuity of the OSS puts another nail in M$ coffin by cutting the ca$h flow. Good job!
    Linux Geek
    • I agree

      At some point in the near future, businesses are going to ever wonder why they had to budget for high priced software when the same money could have been used for other things.

      This is wonderful news.
      cyngaines
  • Nothing to see here, move along

    [i]OpenProj can open native Microsoft Project files, Projity officials said.[/i]

    Don't worry, that particular problem is receiving maximum attention at this very moment. Expect a patch to cure it any day now.

    [i]Microsoft has been relatively quiet about its future plans for Microsoft Project. Is there a ?Live Project? service in the works? I wouldn?t be surprised. And Microsoft?s next version of its Team Foundation Server, codenamed ?Rosario,? includes hooks into Microsoft? Project Server product.[/i]

    In the interests of collaboration and maximum interdependency, all of the Microsoft productivity apps are scheduled to require Microsoft server apps and vice versa.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • Expect nothing less

      ...from Microsoft fanboy no.1.

      Eh YBK?
      ihatelinux
      • Gershwin

        Summertime,
        And the livin' is easy
        Fish are jumpin'
        And the cotton is high

        Mike wasn't able to make it.
        Yagotta B. Kidding
        • :o)

          humour and fact at the same time. Nice one !!
          deaf_e_kate
  • OpenProj Has a Good Chance of Success

    Having been a user of Harvard Project Manager and then Microsoft Project in another avatar (building aircraft passenger boarding bridges), I'd say there's a much better chance of success for an open-source Project clone than other Office members.

    --rj
    http://oakleafblog.blogspot.com/
    Roger_Jennings
  • re: MS Project Open-Source competitor

    This is one piece of software that could really compete. The cost for MS Project has always been bloated. If a free [i]quality[/i] alternative is available I see no reason that it couldn't do very well.
    Badgered
    • interface is the key

      The reason why something like OSS project can do well is because users at this level are looking at funtionality and cost rather than appearance. The biggest turnoff I have found when showing people open source alternatives to word and front page is that they dont look quite as sleek and proffessional and MS know that often the "Packaging" will sell something more than the the "product" - sad but true! What OSS needs in many cases is more time spent on interface cosmetics!
      cymru999
  • Now, all we need is OpenCAD ...

    ... and OpenGIS!

    Set up your whole Architectural/Engineering/Construction office and save HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars and price your AEC competitors still using AutoCAD/ESRI/Microstation/Etc. out of business!

    Let's go!
    OButterball
    • The Cads :D

      I think the days of Windows only on enterprise offerings is coming to a rapid end. Dell's Ubuntu is obviously selling well enough to not be a failure, but Levono offering certified SLED pre-installed on laptops and publicly stating that this is directly due to business customer demands, ignoring Open Source is not a long term strategy anymore.

      For example, I give credit to Nero for their Linux burner client, but they waited too long, K3B is simply superior. KMyMoney2 is better at home (basic) finance than QuickBooks (no one who I have converted complains and many love it's ease of use). Pidgin is a better IM client, leaner, it just does what an IM client should, Amarok is cleaner than WinAmp, etc.

      Heck, now that you can use lightscribe on Linux with direct offerings means they get it, the market IS still small, but you ignore at your own risk.

      We may even see the grumblings of the Berlin wall coming down when the very last to ever be ported to Linux, MS Office, is made available.

      Either way, MS can't be liking these developments at all.

      TripleII
      TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
      • Blink and you missed it

        [i]Heck, now that you can use lightscribe on Linux with direct offerings means they get it, the market IS still small, but you ignore at your own risk.[/i]

        As your disk-burner and finance examples illustrate, the problem with waiting until the market is compelling is that while you're busy ignoring that too-small-to-bother market, others are taking advantage of the apps vacuum and cranking a competitor that you're going to have a [b]very[/b] hard time indeed beating on price.

        [i]We may even see the grumblings of the Berlin wall coming down when the very last to ever be ported to Linux, MS Office, is made available.[/i]

        I rather doubt it -- MS is much more likely to abandon any market where they can't expect to extract monopoly rents.

        [i]Either way, MS can't be liking these developments at all.[/i]

        Which is why they have to stop. [b]Think of the chairs![/b]
        Yagotta B. Kidding
      • Boy, and I can't WAIT, TripleII.

        Then, little 2-5 person firms --- like some of my clients --- will be able to compete with the big guys for local Civil and Architectural jobs because their bank accounts won't be snuffed out having to buy design software at $7 large a pop! The American small-business dream could become a reality.
        OButterball
        • DANG!

          For $7K a pop for a great CAD tool, I think I am in the wrong field!

          http://www.tech-edv.co.at/lunix/CADlinks.html

          Like the other apps, if they wait too long, a pure open source package will mature to the point where they make themselves obsolete.

          TripleII
          TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
    • one could only dream...

      ESRI and Microstation are both truely rediculous when it comes to pricing, AutoCAD is right up there. I remember purchasing the ArchInfo and spending quite a bit, even more than AutoCAD LDD3.
      Monkey_MCSE
      • And ALL the owners are REQUIRING these now.

        If a little firm bought all the licenses and maintenance contracts these vultures require, they'd haveta reduce their staff of CAD/GIS operators necessary for production!

        Talk about yer HIGHWAY ROBBERY for HIGHWAYS!
        OButterball
        • oh I know...

          I remember paying 11k a seat for ArcInfo. When you're the only contender in the market though, you can actually ask that much and people will pay it, even if they hate you for it. Fortunately Arc* software was originally Unix based and still has unix versions, they could easily have them running on linux in no time. I think the more the merrier, keeps companies like the above mentioned in check and they'd stop inflating prices simply because they know there's no substitution.
          Monkey_MCSE
    • Open GIS

      See:
      http://postgis.refractions.net/
      http://mapserver.gis.umn.edu/index.html

      Here's a longer list:
      http://opensourcegis.org/
      pointzerotwo@...
  • This is news?

    Plenty of OSS for project management - I use PHProjekt which has the usual OSS problems but has a few features MSProject doesn't.

    I expect this "competitor" will have the same old OSS problems, lack of support, varied documentation and a lot of fixes that break the last version. But then again that's what you pay for with a $0 price tag.
    tonymcs@...
    • The biggest problem with OSS

      Is they don't sell it for ten times what
      it's worth. If they did, windows users
      (known masochists) would jump on it with all
      four feet.
      Ole Man