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Microsoft Injects Outlook With Social Network Mojo

The Associated Press reports that today Microsoft will be releasing a "beta" test version of the Outlook Social Connector. The Outlook Social Connector is an add-on that brings with it a new panel to the main screen in Outlook. When a user clicks to read an e-mail message, the new pane fills up with the sender's most recent social-networking activities. Those could include the addition of a professional contact on LinkedIn or a "what I'm doing now" status update from Facebook.

Right now, the Social Connector software doesn't allow Outlook users to push data or updates back to Facebook or LinkedIn, which is probably for the best. Outlook is fiercely popular with businesses, so it's hard to imagine big companies jumping for joy at the thought of everyone Facebooking and Tweeting from their email accounts.

It's not yet clear whether or not Social Connector will work for people who are tied to a network that has social networking sites blocked. Check out the video of LinkedIn inside Outlook below.

Click here to download Social Connector (Outlook 2003, 2007, or 2010 is required).

  • burnley14
    Geez, Facebook by itself is more than enough. Now we have Buzz and Outlook doing social networking too? I really just don't care that much about other people, I'm sorry.
    Reply
  • yzfr1guy
    +1 burnley14!

    Do employees really need another way to feed their social networking habits? I come with a business use perspective with this because I'm sure 90% off the Outlook users are in this category. Does Microshaft really think companies need or want this feature? Not only could this lead to more wasted time but also internet bandwidth and spyware issues are bound to pop up.. Just my $.02
    Reply
  • dman3k
    I guess m$ is prepping for WP7's outlook.
    Reply
  • huron
    Have to agree. We're looking at more and more content filtering because the hits on those sites each day are astounding. I am always amazed when how often I see facebook up when I walk past people's desks.

    Outlook doesn't need to be clouded with less-business necessary element in my opinion.
    Reply
  • B-Unit
    LinkedIn is less social network and more professional network.
    Reply
  • jghidotti
    Anyone tried Xobni? Does the same thing and is available as a free version. I and others at my firm have found it very useful for obtaining additional information about the sender of an email, especially if they are on LinkedIn. Free version also threads messages, lists all attachments received from a sender, etc.

    Paid version does a lot more. Some here have sprung for it.
    Reply
  • jghidotti
    Anyone tried Xobni? Does the same thing and is available as a free version. I and others at my firm have found it very useful for obtaining additional information about the sender of an email, especially if they are on LinkedIn. Free version also threads messages, lists all attachments received from a sender, etc.

    Paid version does a lot more. Some here have sprung for it.
    Reply
  • Parsian
    Enough of this NOSINESS attitude they are trying to force feed people... They should focus on upgrading their own desktops from XP to 7...
    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    I thought Outlook already had social networking capabilities from peer-peer malware.
    Reply
  • pelomixa
    Typica Microsoft, instead of fixing the many bugs that currently exist they introduce competitive, wasteful crapola.


    Morons.
    Reply