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Microsoft Project and other project management apps

About Microsoft Project

The Microsoft Project is a Windows and Web-based project-planning tool that lets team members plan, organize, and manage projects, as well as track budgets.

Microsoft Project FAQs

  • What is Microsoft Project?
    Microsoft Project offers project-planning and -tracking tools that help team members and stakeholders monitor deadlines and budgets and track progress. The tool employs the familiar Office ribbon to give quick access to commands grouped around tasks, resources, and project, for example.
  • What are the current versions of Project?
    The latest versions are Project Standard 2016 Project Professional 2016.
  • How much does Project cost?

    While Microsoft groups Project with its Office suite, Project is a separate app -- it's not bundled with Office Home, Office Pro, or other packages. Project comes in a range of options, either as an "on-premises" download or as a Web app, with single-user and group versions.

    Starting at $589.99, the single-user, downloadable Standard 2016 edition offers simple tools for planning and managing a project. For $1,159.99, the Professional edition offers richer project-management and scheduling tools, plus the ability to share information with teammates.

    In the cloud, a Project Professional 2016 subscription starts at $30 per month per user, with tools for planning, tracking, and collaborating with team members on projects. For $55 per month per user, the Premium edition gives you richer management and reporting tools.

Microsoft Project Alternatives

Looking for a less expensive project-management tool? These four project apps offer great features for a reasonable price.



Jira is designed for Agile project-management teams. It provides planning, tracking, and reports tools, with hooks into chat, document-collaboration, and code-management services. The company also has project-management tools for business users. Jira starts at $10 for 10 users.



Asana lets you monitor projects and track specific tasks from a cheerful interface. The free works for up to 15 members. The premium version offers richer tools and costs $8.33 per member per month.



Trello uses boards, lists, and cards to help members track projects. The free version provides the basics. Go paid -- starting at $9.99 per month per user -- to gain access to the complete toolset, plus integration with services like Slack and Dropbox.

Pivotal Tracker


Pivotal Tracker is an Agile project-management and collaboration tool that includes integration with third-party services such as GitHub and Slack. Pivotal Tracker is free for teams with up to three members; pricing starts at $12.50 per month for five members.

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Clifford Colby follows the Mac and Android markets for He's been an editor at Peachpit Press and a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWeek, MacUser, and Corporate Computing.