PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog

PlanGrid for Windows has arrived.

PlanGrid started as a solution for construction workers on the jobsite five years ago. We built an app for iPad and iPhone, and, a little later, for Android. Both are highly rated by our customers, but it takes more than just those physically present at the jobsite to complete a project. Project managers, architects, estimators, inspectors, designers — and more — split their time between the field and the office.

We recognize that collaboration is only successful when the whole team can use PlanGrid, no matter what hardware they’re using; and in the office, almost everyone uses a Windows computer (laptop, desktop, or tablet).

Looking at the operating system distribution across enterprise computers, it’s clear that Windows is dominating. Below is a distribution chart of the two largest operating systems (Windows and MacOS) as seen by the “world” and by PlanGrid users:

World-wide market share data came from NETMARKETSHARE. PlanGrid market share came from analyzing traffic to our website.

The desire to create a native Windows application for PlanGrid was echoed by our customers; we have a vibrant feedback loop that helps us build with our users in mind at all times. First, our support, sales, and professional services teams speaks with customers on a daily basis, and sends that feedback to the product team. The product team supplements this feedback with follow-up customer interviews. Then, the entire R&D team — engineering, QA, product, and design — prioritizes the requests and builds a healthy product roadmap.

Thanks to our customers, we recognized the need to build a native Windows application, but the question remained: which Microsoft technology should we build on? Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is the latest framework from Microsoft in which all Windows Store apps are written, and is the evolution of XAML-based technologies.

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The caveat with UWP is that it only runs on Windows 10. Our experience in the field taught us that enterprises are historically slow to update to the latest operating system — the following graph illustrates this:

World-wide market share data came from https://www.netmarketshare.com/ for October 2016 Windows XP removed). PlanGrid market share is from the analytics built into our Windows app, aggregated over 60-day period.

Adoption of Windows 10 for our customers is almost 2x the world adoption. This is largely because the construction industry has embraced Surface tablets, which are always sold with the latest version of Windows. Despite that, almost 50% of our customers are still running Windows 7/8/8.1, so we had to build with everyone in mind. We decided to build a traditional desktop/WPF app that runs on Windows 7 and higher.

After the general release, it’s clear we made the right decision. Below is the distribution graph of Windows versions over time as observed by analytics built into our application:

We’re thrilled to announce the general release of PlanGrid for Windows: the best way to experience PlanGrid on your favorite Windows devices, and keep your entire team on the same page.

“The Microsoft Surface seems to be gaining traction in the industry and having PlanGrid on all of the major platforms will be a big step forward to adoption across the industry.”
– Bob Kramer, CR2 Engineering


5 reasons to download PlanGrid for Windows:

1. Fast, smooth sheet viewing: Effortlessly navigate your sheets; zoom in and out with ease.

2. Multiple windows for side-by-side comparison: Compare sheets without jumping back and forth between screens.

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3. Offline mode: Take your project anywhere, even when there’s no internet. PlanGrid will update when you’re back online.

4. Snap-to annotations: Make detailed markups and take accurate measurements—everything automatically snaps to the nearest 45 degree angle.

5. Estimates, and measurements: Take multiple measurements and report totals back to your team faster than ever.

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