Microsoft developed a new project management app that will compete directly with Trello, Slack, or Asana. The Office integrated Planner will help manage small or large teams on both individual and group projects.
Microsoft Planner app started its development in 2015, it was tested in the autumn of last year, and in a couple of weeks it will be available for general public.
How the Planner Works
The developers used individual accounts, labels, and tags to coordinate and transmit clear instructions over working groups. The app also provides team reports for each project.
The simple layout involves distinct boards for each working group that enables colleagues to chat, exchange documents, and manage tasks. Team members also receive email notifications on the important changes in the working schedule, so that everybody is kept informed.
The system is similar to Trello, creating a platform for workloads, due dates, categories and internal chat. One thing that differentiates Planner from other apps is the “Hub” that creates an overview of activities and can be used by managers to track the status of any of their undergoing projects.
The Office Integrated Planner
The Planner is connected to all the other Office products, which may boost sells for Microsoft’s other products and provide the company a good competitive advantage in the face of other similar products.
For example, chat conversations are integrated into Office 365 Groups, and they can be accessed from desktops, on the web, and on Microsoft mobile apps.
Moreover, all projects have an automatically created OneNote Notebook, which can be used to create lists and memos.
Microsoft’s Strategy Change
Until now, Microsoft’s approach was to buy project companies that developed productivity apps. This was the case with Wunderlist, Yammer, or Acompli. But in this case, Microsoft decided not to purchase a small app team, but to produce the software by using its own teams.
The previous project management tool developed by Microsoft was MS Project, a more complex tool that handled much more aspects of business. The creation of Planner, which is a simpler device and has a more interesting interface, may bring more users to Microsoft.
Microsoft Planner is available for free for all Office 365 users, and the app will be automatically activated in the Office package.
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