Last Updated Oct 23, 2009 11:23 AM EDT
There's a bright light ahead, though: Easy Projects.NET is one of the most complete, feature rich project management programs I've seen on the Web.
Easy Projects.NET feels like a complete desktop application. Each project includes time and billing, message boards for cross-team collaboration, file attachments, reporting tools, and an elegant, interactive Gantt chart that compares favorably with desktop apps like Microsoft Project.
There's also a dashboard page with widgets you can configure to display the health of your various projects and important updates at a glance.
The site has a few idiosyncrasies. Initial registration - though free - is far from painless. You need to wait for five minutes for your site to be configured, and you get unexpected mail, such as a validation for a related Vyew account, which, it turns out, is part of the Easy Projects.NET service. And speaking of email, you get spammed with an email message for every action you take on a project. In my first hour with the site, I was shocked to find I'd racked up 75 automated messages telling me about various changes to my projects!
Those frustrations aside, it's clear there's a lot of power under the hood, and it's fairly easy to get up and going. You can use Easy Projects.NET as a single user with 100MB of storage for free, or upgrade to a hosted solution with 1GB of storage. The cost varies by user; it's roughly $25/user per month, with increasingly deep discounts for volume.