Microsoft releases Office 365 Planner preview for business users

Today Microsoft announced the release of a preview and testing version of its new lightweight project management application - Planner.

The application – originally codenamed Highlander – was released for initial evaluation to those customers who have one of the following Microsoft licenses:

  • Office 365 Enterprise E1,
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3,
  • Office 365 Enterprise E4,
  • Office 365 Enterprise E5,
  • Office 365 Education,
  • Office 365 Education E3,
  • Office 365 Education E4,
  • Office 365 Business Essentials
  • Office 365 Business Premium

Administrators who have any one of these packages can set up Planner and Microsoft hopes the initial preview release will be available to all first release customers worldwide in the next few weeks.

Microsoft Planner, is a lightweight version of Microsoft's Project, and integrates with Office 365 groups. Each new plan created within Planner automatically will create a new 365 group. Similarly, each existing 365 group will be assigned its own associated plan.

This is just the latest addition to Microsoft’s first release program, which allows customers to designate some of their users to get an early release version of Microsoft products for evaluation and testing purposes. Previous offerings in the early release program, were Sharepoint Online and OneDrive for Business which were later added to the Office 365 package.

A similar program is also in place for those customers who have Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 Business subscriptions. Microsoft will now offer these customers an early release program of the early builds of the Office Client.