What’s New? Microsoft Project News: April 2018 Edition

Updates for Project and Project Server Released in March

Microsoft’s TechNet blog has announced the release of Project and Project Server updates last month listing details depending on which configuration users have set up. As the post notes, mainstream support for Project and Project Server 2010 ended in October of 2015, and an SP1 patched 2010 systems (with no SP2) are no longer supported, so these updates came none too soon.

The 2013 public update releases have the prerequisite of the appropriate Service Pack 1 (SP1), and SP1 is enforced in this release, so it’s important for users to have SP1 for all installed components and language packs. Both SharePoint Server 2016 and 2013 updates have security fixes included. Users of the Project client connecting to Project Online will have needed a ‘2016’ level client to connect since June of 2017.

Microsoft encourages users to open a support case if they have any questions about updates or need assistance getting these newly released updates and patches deployed.


Preview Version of Windows Server 2019 Released

Microsoft has also released a Preview version of its upcoming Windows Server 2019 operating system to members of the Windows Insider Program. The 2019 version has a number of new features that mainly focus on the use of the hybrid cloud and Microsoft’s Project Honolulu. This is a new web interface which promises to be more user friendly and accessible especially for those setting up a connection between Server 2019 and Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft has put a heavy emphasis on added security with this update, as Advanced Threat Protection for Windows Defender is now fully integrated. The new version of Windows Server will also allow full integration with a Linux subsystem such as in Windows 10.

The company also states in their blog post that an updated version of System Center will also be coming out before the end of the year. For client access licensing, the price tag will likely increase, although Microsoft didn’t elaborate on those details yet.

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Microsoft’s Hands-Free Music Project

The following referenced news story is not exactly related to MS Project, but interesting nonetheless. Major news outlets recently ran a story about Microsoft’s Hands-Free Music Project. The Enable Team, who spearheaded this project, helps those with disabilities. The Hands-Free Music Project was developed in collaboration with the ALS community to help them and those with other disabling conditions compose music by using their eyes alone.

Ann Paradiso, a principal user experience manager of Microsoft’s Enable Team, is quoted saying, “This collaboration shows people what’s possible with technology.”

The featured technologies developed for the ALS community are Sound Jam, Sound Machine, and Expressive Pixels. Sound Jam is described as “an eye-controlled music environment for electronic loop-based performance and composition.” It features what is known as a clip launcher, allowing people to “launch” musical fragments that automatically align to the next downbeat of a song. Sound Machine is a 16-step sound sequencer that provides users the ability to generate musical compositions via a combination of .wav and midi samples, and Expressive Pixels is a visual interface that can enhance communication and performance.

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