The problems I mentioned (and which it sounds like you guys are confirming) have in
fact been around in MS Project since the first time I used it, circa 1992 or so.
It's odd that such a core piece of the app has had persistent bugs all that time.
I'm convinced the basic problem goes something like this: very few people actually
enjoy project management. It's a complex, tedious, and highly technical job ---
when done right. Engineers are usually the best project managers, but it's
something that most engineers really detest, in my experience. So project
managment ends up being done by somebody with a relatively non-technical
background, marketing or administrative or something. Those folks use project to
lay out a rough top-level schedule but don't use most of the advanced features ---
and then just finesse things around rather than actually tracking through the
tool. Folks that are really technical who get slotted into PM figure out that its
buggy, so they use Autoplan or another current high-end alternative product
instead. So MS never gets any bug reports.
Further, Project is probably a shit project to be on at MS. They probably don't
use it themselves, internally --- their methodology doesn't lend itself well to
that kind of scheduling --- and therefore all it's got to do is pass some canned
smoke tests. Therefore, these key "features" that are broken remain broken for
I dunno, speculation. Still, troublesome.