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Microsoft Project 98 and 2000 Print
Big Brother, Bigger Brother: Just Who's Top Banana Anyway?

MICROSOFT PROJECT 98 and 2000 from the Microsoft Corporation

Website: http://www.microsoft.com

System specs:

MSProject 98

MSProject 2000

  • 486 system or higher
  • 20-40MB hard disk space
  • 12MB RAM minimum for Win 95; 16MB for Win NT 4
  • VGA monitor, SVGA recommended
  • Mouse or other pointing device
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Modem
  • Leading Windows-compatible network and MAPI-compliant mail systems, or a leading Web server and Web browser required for Workgroup functionality
  • Windows 95/98/2000
  • Windows NT Workstation 3.51 with Service Pack 5 or later or Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 2 or later
  • Pentium 75MHz or higher
  • 30-204MB hard disk space
  • 24-40MB RAM
  • VGA monitor, SVGA recommended
  • Mouse or other pointing device
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Modem
  • Multimedia computer required to access sound and other multimedia effects
  • Windows 95/98/2000
  • Windows NT with Service Pack 4 or later

Alternatively try:

  • Artemis Views
  • ELabor Enterprise Project
  • Innovie TeamCenter
  • Milestones Professional 2000
  • Primavera Project Planner
  • Primavera Sure Trak
  • Primavera Team Play
  • WebProject's WebProject
  • Welcom Open Plan Professional

 

{mosadsense4joomla ad_layout="A"ad_align=""}Last month, we reviewed the ever-popular Microsoft Project 2000 with its bells, whistles, and beyond. Being the curious sorts that we are (and with added thanks to PROJECTmagazine's readers), the curiosity that KO'd the kitty got the best of us as well.

We decided to transform ourselves into our Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson personas** and take the magnifying glass to Project 2000's older sibling, Project 98.

Now granted, no playing of favourites here, but like a number of you, we had this burning desire to know just what the differences are between these two. If you're ready, join us for that all too familiar concept known to English teachers the world over: compare and contrast (Mrs. Blazejewski and Mr. Flannery, this one's for you!).

As with every monthly PROJECTmagazine column, we include the system specs and similar products for you to sink your teeth into. In case you missed the July issue, we're adding 2000's details alongside for a rather bird's eye view of our MS siblings.

Let's face it folks, MS Project has been and continues to be the benchmark from which many project management programs are judged. We're empowered by having the capabilities to plan, track, and simplify our projects. We can share them with our team members and other personnel ten feet across the hall or ten thousand miles around the globe, all at the click of a mouse button. Life is that much easier, and we can get on with the real business at hand.

Without the need for Holmes' magnifying glass, the one of the most obvious differences between Project 98 and 2000 is in 2000's improved ease of use and Office like interface. This makes it more appealing to non-technical managers who would rather not have the really complex orchestras of other programs currently on the market. Who wants to wrestle with learning a new application that claims to make your life easier? Been there, done that. Project 2K outdoes its older sibling in this regard.

Another factor behind 2000's ease of use also comes in part from its much improved collaboration features. Big Brother 98 relied on email messages for us to get our project information across to team members. A great idea (a vast improvement over snail mail or even getting it there by 10.30 the next morning), but like many things in life, could always use a gentle nudge in the direction of getting it done better and faster than ever before.

The newly introduced Web-based Project Central module that comes with 2000 lets us deliver all of our information straight to our team's web browsers. Like 98, Project 2000 allows us to use our email alone but also gives us the option to incorporate the Central add-on.

Both versions allow for task splitting. Since we don't necessarily work on a project continuously, each portion of the task is represented by a separate bar in the Gantt chart view. Gaps in the chart show when work was not done. Tasks can be moved, split, resplit, and recombined into whatever portions you require. In either application, the duration of the split task changes only when you change the duration of a given portion. The only difference in the two is that 2K provides a no-working option so that you can report when a project will not be worked on.

Project 2000 goes a step further in that it lets you indicate that a particular task is uncertain. This is accomplished by entering the time followed by a question mark. When the task's time is determined, the question mark can simply be removed.

In terms of files exportation, Project 2000 doesn't support MPX file formats, but instead uses a new file format. The new format can read the MPX files found in the older version as well as other project management packages, but cannot write to them. It can export files in CSV, Project 98, or Excel formats. In many instances, Project 2000 will allow for the import or export of field data, but not for an entire project.

Project 98 and 2000 each have their own help systems for getting you off and running. We like 2K's html-based tutorial, and found it to be unquestionably useful in getting to grips with the slightly trickier functions of the program.

In addition, both versions integrate well with Microsoft Office. Documents, charts, and graphs from Office can be incorporated into Project, so you can take advantage of a comprehensive set of tools for every aspect of your project management.

With MS Outlook, every detail of your project down to the smallest of tasks can be kept in this information manager. Microsoft's got you covered from start to finish.

From your bankbook's standpoint, both versions are similarly priced at $499. If you're looking for value for money, then Project 2000 wins hands down since it also includes the single user license for Project Central. It's like getting a great buy one, get one free deal.

Which version of Microsoft Project you choose to get down and dirty with all depends on your own needs. Each comes with its own bells and whistles to help you get the job done. Project 2000 was more user friendly overall, and the recent improvements made managing a project from start to finish a piece of cake. An outstanding application like Project 98 has only been made better, so either way, you really can't go wrong.

Big Brother? Bigger Brother? Which is your top banana?

**We're not saying which one of us is Holmes and which is Watson! It's for us to know and you to find out! Just who gets to smoke the pipe, anyway?

The Microsoft Corporation
receives a PROJECTmagazine rating of

Image

5 bananas

For providing the project management profession with tools that get the job done and done well.

James and Lee Appleyard (c) 2003

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