Microsoft apparently wowed the crowd today at the Microsoft Office Project Conference in Seattle with demos of features of a new version of Office Project coming at some unspecified time in the future:
The audience applauded a new timeline view that will become available. Alice Steinglass, senior program manager for Microsoft Office Project, showed how users can cut and paste the timeline into other applications, such as a PowerPoint slide. Once pasted, users can alter individual components of the image, deleting sections and changing the font, for example.
A major user interface change to come within Project that Steinglass showed off is the icon ribbon at the top of the screen, similar to the one featured on many other Microsoft programs such as Word. Users can click on different tabs at the top and the icons available in the ribbon change. With the click of an icon, users can, for example, filter for incomplete tasks or group by resource name. These functions currently require several clicks in Project 2007.
Steinglass also showed off enhancements that will come to Web access to Projects. If a user makes changes to several time frames for completing tasks, the application won’t automatically update the overall schedule, so as not to slow down performance. When a user is done making changes, a Calculate Changes button makes the alterations, highlighting every item that has changed.
There’s more in the same vein by following the link, but Web access seems to be a hot button for this next version.
Somewhat more concretely, Microsoft announced that the ship date for Service Pack 1 for Office Project 2007 will be announced in two or three weeks.