Project 2016: Should I Upgrade?


*** Update 10/5/2016 – Please see the Admin Portal Message Center for the latest news – which will include the following message (truncated here) – you have until next February to upgrade to Project 2016 (or the subscription Project Online Desktop Client if you want to continue connecting to Project Online.

MC75399
Published On : August 19, 2016
Expires On : March 31, 2017
Action required by February 28, 2017

Beginning in February, 2017, Project Online will require the latest version of Project to connect to Office 365. We are making architectural changes to features in Project Online which impact older versions of Project, connecting to Project Online. ***

 

Here I am just talking about the desktop product – so Project Standard or Project Professional – and also Project Pro for Office 365.  If you have Project Pro for Office 365 then the question of upgrade doesn’t really arise – it is just like any other update that happens with the click to run subscription based products – but it just happens to take you up to a new major version number (The version if you go to File, Account, About… will start with a ‘16’).  Some organizations may control when the updates are available for their users – so you may not get it right away. 

Hang on – but what if I am using Project Pro for Office 365 because I like the subscription model for the desktop applications but am still using Project Server 2013?  No problem.  In this release we have both backward and forward compatibility (for now – more later) so you can use the ‘16’ version of Project Pro for Office 365, or even Project Professional 2016 to connect to Project Server 2013.  You can even keep your Project Professional 2013 and use it against Project Server 2016 when that comes out next year.  You will of course miss out on the new features related to resource management (my earlier blog today) and you won’t get multiple timeline bars if you stick with 2013 – but you will still be able to work!  You can even share mpp files between the 2013 and 2016 versions – the 2013 users will not see multiple timeline bars – but will not break them for everyone else – they will just see the tasks on a single timeline bar.  They can even edit the timeline and the multiple timelines will still be there for the 2016 users.  Very cool!  Just in case you haven’t see this new feature – here is an example:

image

Now you know it is safe to upgrade – and also what features you can expect I will tell you about a couple of things of which you need to be aware.

1.  You cannot mix versions if you are running click to run installations – so upgrading an Office ProPlus click to run install from 2013 to 2016 will want to uninstall and 2013 click to run products it finds – such as Project and Visio for example.  You will need to update to the 2016 for these too.

2.  You cannot mix click to run with msi based installers of the same version.  This means you cannot run Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus (which is click to run) with an MSI based installation of Project Professional 2016.  You could either change to Project Pro for Office 365, or get a click to run Project Professional 2016.

3.  You can mix different versions and different install technologies – so running Project Professional 2013 (msi installation) is fine with Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus (‘16’ level – click to run)

I hope that makes sense – there should be a new KB article coming along that covers this – I’ll add the link when I see it.  The 2nd point above also gives an interesting issue if you are in the habit of installing client applications on your SharePoint servers – not generally a good idea, but certainly in support and demonstration environments it can happen.  You will find that the SharePoint Server msi based installation will block installing a ‘16’ level click to run – so in this case you might want to use msi versions of Office.

And how do I know if I am running click to run or msi based applications?  Click to run will look something like this on the File, Account page (although the set of product icons will be different – this is from our internal deployment at Microsoft):

image

And msi based tends to look like this:

image

I mentioned earlier that the backwards compatibility is ‘for now’ – and this was specifically aimed at Project Online users, where we will support the use of Project Professional 2013 connecting to Project Online probably until the fall next year.  At that point we will be ensuring all Project Web App instances are activated with the new resource management features so you will need Project Pro for Office 365 or Project Professional to take advantage of them – and we will block the older clients.  We will give plenty of notice – I’m sure I’ll do a blog post – and it will also get posted to your message center.

Comments (35)

  1. anonymouscommenter says:

    And yet, even though I have a retail copy of Project 2013 I could not install Office 2016 (365) until it was removed and cannot re-install it with Office 2016 present. This is despite being advised by MS "Support" originally that this would work and having
    gone back to them they are saying Project 2013 cannot be on the same PC with Office 2016. Pretty unsatisfactory given upgrade cost for Project and takes away the value of a 365 subscription!

  2. anonymouscommenter says:

    Being unable to run Project 2013 along with Office 2016 is inexcusable. Time for Microsoft to offer a free upgrade as it once again demonstrates the shortfalls of their developers and marketers.

  3. anonymouscommenter says:

    Cannot OPEN ANY of my Projects at all now since installing Project Pro. it has taken me three days to finally get it to load and now that it has none of the projects will open yet it says that Project 2016 will open all versions im going to have to uninstall
    everything and go back to 2007 only version i trust

  4. anonymouscommenter says:

    It uninstalled project 2013 and visio 2013 with no remedy. MS what are you guys thinking? Can you do anything without making it more complex than necessary? One has to wonder. How much does it cost to upgrade????

  5. anonymouscommenter says:

    Seriously Microsoft? What the hell is this bs? I have an O365 customer who has E3 subscription for all users. We purchased Project Pro licensing for a subset of users. No one is able to install Project Pro from the 365 portal because it’s trying to deploy
    Project Pro 2016, which is incompatible with Office 2013. And we aren’t entitled to install Office 2016 yet. This is despite Project being downloaded from the *SAME F’ING PORTAL’. Absolutely ridiculous display of incompetence.

  6. Thanks all for the feedback ROSS, JoeF and Rich – and I know this upgrade situation isn’t good. Best advice I can give is to open a support case as if you have purchased 2013 software (Project or Visio) then we need to make sure you can continue using
    it.
    JJJ – again open a support ticket from your E3 and I’m sure we can work through this.
    Phil – not sure what happened here – I’m reviewing known issues for file open – not seeing anything specific – any crash info in your application event logs?
    Best regards,
    Brian.

  7. anonymouscommenter says:

    I am in the same boat. Installing MS Office Prof 2016 removed MS Project 2013 and MS Visio 2013. System will NOT allow reinstallation of MS Project 2013 and MS Visio 2013. After working with Microsoft Product support for the last 3 hours, the resolution
    they have given me is – I need to have to install these products on two different machines. I have asked them to keep the ticket open and send me the resolution as soon as you get it. This is ridiculous. I use Office and Project/Visio, 7 out of 8 Hrs a day.
    Now what?

  8. anonymouscommenter says:

    Please visit
    https://support.office.com/en-us/article/-We-need-to-remove-some-older-apps-error-a225347f-e102-4ea6-9796-5d1ac5220c3b. This article provides for free upgrade to Project/Visio 2016.

  9. anonymouscommenter says:

    I had a similar issue with Visio Pro 2013. With the help of a Microsoft Store employee, I was able to get a free upgrade of Visio pro 2016. The article I referred to earlier clearly spells out qualifying products and standalone software.

  10. anonymouscommenter says:

    Free upgrade to Project 2013? Nope. Microsoft said "it
    s not compatible with 2106 products.

    Too bad so sad. Want to run Project – pony up and buy a 2016 version.

    And that only to 5 transfers, a supervisor, and 2 hours on the phone with connections so bad on their part I constantly had to repeat myself.

    Pretty disgusting. Want one new product? Then pay to upgrade everything else they make.

  11. anonymouscommenter says:

    Strangely enough, I managed to re-install Project Pro 2013 after Office 2016 installation.

    No special tricks, just re-install. Everything now seems to work OK. I used the 32-bit versions.

    Here is my order of actions:
    1. Initially I had Office 2013 Plus + Project Pro + Visio Pro
    2. I uninstalled the Office 2013 Plus only
    3. Installed Office 2016 (365 family subscription)
    At this point, Project Pro was automatically uninstalled, Visio remained intact.
    4. Re-installed Project Pro 2013

    Too good to be true ?

  12. anonymouscommenter says:

    I am having a similar issue…I updated all the MS office suite which also updated Project to 2016. Issue is Outlook 2016 is not compatible with my company’s exchange server (2007) so I have had to uninstall everything. I was able to re-install 2013 Office
    but can no longer find project 2013…and cannot load Project 2016 due to compatibility issues with office 2013…stuck in a continuous loop of ridiculousness.. either I have functional email, with no Project or project without functional email. Come on Microsoft
    you couldn’t have been this short sighted…we should have the ability to rollback Project the same as Office….

  13. anonymouscommenter says:

    I’m using MS Project 2016 on remote desktop. You don’t need to upgrade it, just try with 30-day free trial and decide if it worth it
    https://www.apponfly.com/en/microsoft-project-standard-2016?KAI

  14. David Peace says:

    We already have 9 users on Microsoft Project 2013 Standard and 7 users on 2010 Standard. If we bought the 2016 Standard version will existing users be immediately incompatible with it? Otherwise I need to purchase the 2013 version from somewhere and I’m struggling to find it available from anywhere.

    1. Hi David, I assume you mean to replace just the 2010? You can use 2016 standard – or even subscribe to Project Pro for Office 365 if you want a subscription model. 2013 will read the same mpp files but you just won’t get the new features.
      Best regards,
      Brian

  15. Adrian says:

    Hi, We have been bought some Project Standard 2016 licences in my company, and when they try to work with it and try to asign resoruces the program stops with an error and you have to close the program. Has anyone the same problem? I tried to speak with Microsoft but no one says anithing about that. Does anyone from Microsoft know what happens here? Is it any develop problem? I have tried over differents OS and config and the problem is always there.
    I have tried with Office 2016 Pro and the problem is gone, so I supossed is a problem with the standard edition. Can anyone help, please?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Adrian, this issue is related to the presence indicator on the Assign Resources dialog and we expect to have a fix in the February 2016 updates for Project. I think you could also turn off the presence indicator in the backstage to avoid the problem. This was very specific to Project Standard so matches exactly what you are seeing.
      Sorry for the inconvenience,
      Best regards,
      Brian

  16. Chris says:

    I recently upgraded to 2016. it was actually much more error free than expected, but I have noticed an anomaly. When trying to use the recurring task feature, it will not accept weekly occurrences (ie every 4 weeks). The dreaded wheel of doom appears, followed by “Program Not Responding”. How could this have made it through testing? Is there a fix?

    1. Hi Chris, sorry you have run into this issue. We are currently investigating a fix for this problem. It isn’t something that will always reproduce for us so I’m guessing that’s how it slipped through test. My apologies for the inconvenience this has caused you.

    2. One workaround Chris – if you set the week to start on a Sunday you shouldn’t see a crash. Hopefully this will work for you until we have the fix out.
      Best regards,
      Brian

  17. Asrian says:

    Hi Brian,
    since this seems to have become the inofficial bug post:

    Master projects do not show links between subprojects.
    Create project Sub1 with task T1, Sub2 with T2
    Link T1 to T2
    Links are shown in Sub1 and Sub2
    Create Project Master, insert Sub1, Sub2
    Links not shown in Master

    Best regards,
    Adrian

    1. Toby A says:

      I have that problem too. Does anybody know if there’s a solution yet?

      1. Hi Toby, and sorry for the slow response Adrian. I hadn’t heard of this issue – do you happen to know if this is different to previous behavior (2013)?
        Best regards,
        Brian

  18. Gerhard Obbink says:

    Hi Brian, you state: “where we will support the use of Project Professional 2013 connecting to Project Online probably until the fall next year”. Is there any official timeline when this support will end? For some customers this might be a show stopper moving on to Project Online, due to company policy to work with the whole Office 2013 suite.

    1. Hi Gerhard, I’ll try and get a definitive statement on this. My timeline was based on earlier discussions with the product group and specifically related to Project for Office 365 – which customers could defer upgrade to the ’16’ level, but only for one calendar year.
      Best regards,
      Brian

      1. Peter de Vries says:

        Hi Brian,
        Can you gave an update? Till when can customers use Project 2013 pro in combination with Project Online?
        Best regards,
        Peter

        1. Hi Peter, please see the Project Online Message Center in the Admin Portal – you will find the following message. Great reminder for me to update the blog too!
          MC75399
          Published On : August 19, 2016
          Expires On : March 31, 2017
          Action required by February 28, 2017
          Beginning in February, 2017, Project Online will require the latest version of Project to connect to Office 365. We are making architectural changes to features in Project Online which impact older versions of Project, connecting to Project Online…

          Best regards,
          Brian.

          1. Peter de Vries says:

            Hi Brian,
            Great, thank you for the update
            In our message centre, there is no MC75399 message. May be because we are running Project 2016 for ourselves.
            Regards,
            Peter

          2. That’s an interesting point Peter – I’ll talk to the team about making this message to a broader audience – not just those who have the client via subscription.
            Best regards,
            Brian.

  19. Angelo says:

    I can’t agree more with many of the comments below! I was on the phone for 4 hours trying to get MSP2013 to load, and the to find it after loading MS Office 2016. I teach MSP2013 and feel I need both versions. I also have MSP2010 and no problem using that version with MS Office 2016. I promised Microsoft that I would recommend everyone using MSP2013 NOT to upgrade to MSO2016 until MS provides a patch or as others suggested, a free upgrade. Last week after all the frustration, I removed MSO2016 and reinstalled MSP2013.

    Today I had the opportunity to purchase MSP Pro2016 via HUP, and I also ordered the backup DVD so as not to have the “cloud” screw up the installation. Tonight after 2 attempts, and help from the Geek Squad, I uninstalled MSO2013 & MSP2013 and installed MSP Pro 2016 and MSO 2016. MSP2016 looks very monochromatic while MSP2010’s icons are more colorful. Perhaps there are colorblind programmers and Microsoft. I like color! Hopefully my MSP2013 class will not experience enough differences to create a problem for me. I am VERY DISAPPOINTED in Microsoft for NOT taking its USER BASE into consideration and FORCING USERS to have to upgrade and spending good money for an earlier version with no recourse to use it! I’M NOT HAPPY AT ALL!!

  20. Angelo says:

    I can’t agree more with many of the comments below! I was on the phone for 4 hours trying to get MSP2013 to load, and then to find it after loading MS Office 2016. I teach MSP2013 and feel I need both versions. I also have MSP2010 and no problem using that version with MS Office 2016. I promised Microsoft that I would recommend everyone using MSP2013 NOT to upgrade to MSO2016 until Microsoft provides a patch or as others suggested, a free upgrade. Last week after all the frustration, I removed MSO2016 and reinstalled MSP2013.
    Today I had the opportunity to purchase MSP Pro2016 via HUP, and I also ordered the backup DVD so as not to have the “cloud” screw up my installation. Tonight after 2 attempts, and help from the Geek Squad, I uninstalled MSO2013 & MSP2013 and installed MSP Pro 2016 and MSO 2016. MSP2016 looks very monochromatic while MSP2010’s icons are more colorful. Perhaps there are colorblind programmers and Microsoft. I like color!
    Hopefully my MSP2013 class will not experience enough differences as to create a problem for me. I am VERY DISAPPOINTED in Microsoft for NOT taking its USER BASE into consideration and FORCING USERS to have to upgrade Office after spending good money for an earlier version with no recourse to use it! I’M NOT HAPPY AT ALL!!

  21. Jim Blain says:

    I see that Project 2016 can be used to connect to Project Server 2013, but can it be used to connect to Project Server 2010?

    1. Sorry Jim, but no. Only Project Professional 2010 can connect to Project Server 2010.
      Best regards,
      Brian.

  22. Ian Bruckner says:

    Any chance of getting a blog update on Project Online / Project Professional licensing? Published material doesn’t seem to cover those who license Project Pro perpetually but connect to Project Online. Will that still work? I read the bit that you must have the “latest version to connect”, but does that mean… forever and always, or N-1.. For example, will 2016 work until 2018 or next comes out? Or need it be the subscription license so every month it’s the “latest version”?

    Second, how will the functionality that comes with Project Online Premium (working the enterprise resource pool / demand management) be hidden from someone without that license? Doesn’t seem to add up that our “leadership” group who makes decisions on which projects to take on, nor our “team leads / resource managers” who make decisions on what resources are available for project work, would all need Project Professional, so why must it be bundled for them?

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