Microsoft® recently released a new project management application called Planner. Microsoft Planner is a component of Office 365™ Enterprise E1-E5, Business Essentials, Premium and Education, and is intended to compete with Trello™, Slack and Asana™.
Project management software is nothing new for Microsoft as they have been selling Project for more than 25 years, but Project is a very powerful and complex application and the time required to master it is often more than most users are willing to endure.
As with most project management apps, Microsoft Planner enables users to create plans, assign and collaborate on tasks, track and communicate status, set due dates, and communicate via dashboards and email.
Microsoft Planner doesn’t offer anything particularly groundbreaking, but the familiar user interface and close integration with Office 365 should make it a desirable tool for many individuals and organizations. Unfortunately, Planner is only available to certain Office 365 subscribers and there is no option for a deployment on premise. I suspect that this may be yet another tactic to motivate users to move to the cloud. It’s doubtful that something as common as a project management tool would be enough to motivate someone to subscribe to Office 365 by itself, but I believe we will see an increasing number of utilities and tools that are only available in the cloud.
Planner will be rolled out globally during the coming weeks. Eligible subscribers don’t have to take any action as the new tile will simply appear in the Office 365 app launcher when it becomes available.