Starting today, Microsoft's Outlook users can plug Facebook and Windows Live right into Microsoft Outlook through the updated Outlook Social Connector.
The Outlook Social Connector connects Microsoft Outlook 2010 to business and personal social networks. Within Outlook, users can stay up to date on the status and activities of their contacts, whether they are from your organization's network, or from social networking sites on the Internet.
Users can view their social network as they look through their email.
LinkedIn and MySpace for the Outlook Social Connector became available in Outlook last winter, and today Microsoft added Facebook and Windows Live. Now users will be able to view status updates and photos right next to an email. Also, users will be able to grow their social and professional network directly within Outlook by adding "Friends" to Facebook and Windows Live directly from the Outlook People Pane.
To give more Outlook users the ability to connect their Inbox with their social networks, Microsoft has also updated Outlook Social Connector to work with Outlook 2003 and 2007.
The company has also released a new version of the Outlook Social Connector (v1.1). This update gives you the ability to receive real-time updates in the "People Pane" within Outlook.
Microsoft's claims that the Outlook Social Connector has been buikt with privacy and security in mind. The information people share is a personal choice, so it's up to users to determine what they share, and with whom.
Outlook 2003 and 2007 users can download the latest version of the Outlook Social Connector from the Microsoft Download Center
. Outlook 2010 users can get the Outlook Social Connector update through Microsoft Update. Users can get the Facebook provider download for the Outlook Social Connector from the Microsoft Download Center
The Windows Live Messenger provider download for the Outlook Social Connector is also available at the Microsoft Download Center
According to the Nielsen ratings, 67 percent of the global online population now goes online to visit social networks and blogs to stay connected, make decisions, and get things done.