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Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Microsoft Office 2010 Gets More Social

Microsoft is turning Outlook, its desktop e-mail program, into a hub for information from social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

Microsoft released a beta version of the Outlook Social Connector. Announced back in November 2009, the Outlook Social Connector is a set of new features that bring together communications history, contact information, and professional and social networking information into the Outlook experience. Most importantly, it brings a users' friends, family and colleagues into one place, making it easier to stay in touch.

The Outlook Social Connector allows users to see e-mail and social activities for a contact in their network across multiple social networks, including Facebook, Myspace and LinkedIn.

Currently, Microsoft is offering only the LinkedIn download for the Outlook Social Connector, available today at the www.LinkedIn.com/outlook.

Here are some of the things users will be able to do with LinkedIn:

- Connect to your LinkedIn account to view your colleagues' status updates and photos right next to an e-mail they just sent you.

- Get your colleagues' latest contact info from LinkedIn updated into their contact card in Outlook. Whenever someone changes a phone number, e-mail address, or other contact details, you?ll have it synced with Outlook so you're always up to date.

- Grow your professional network directly from within your inbox.

Users can download the Office 2010 beta at www.Office.com/beta, download the latest version of the Outlook Social Connector from the Microsoft Download Center and get the LinkedIn download for the Outlook Social Connector at www.LinkedIn.com/outlook.

Microsoft said that it would also release the corresponding plug-ins for Facebook and MySpace by the time Office 2010 goes on sale in June.

Microsoft added that the design of the OSC is such that users' privacy and permissions settings on each of the networks they use are represented and respected.

Notice that the OSC that was included with the Outlook 2010 Beta must be uninstalled before installing the new OSC Beta (February Update). After the February OSC update is installed, the LinkedIn Provider for Outlook can then be installed. And also note that only 32-bit Outlook is supported right now. 64-bit support for the OSC will be available soon, according to Microsoft.

For more information, visit http://blogs.msdn.com/outlook/archive/2009/11/18/announcing-the-outlook-social-connector.aspx.

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