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Unified Communications Featured Article


February 17, 2010

Microsoft Gets Social

By Erin Harrison, Senior Editor


Microsoft (News - Alert) has decided it's time to give its social life a boost. The technology giant is taking steps to turn Outlook into a base of information from ultra-popular social networking sites Facebook, MySpace (News - Alert) and LinkedIn.

“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,” blogged Dev Balasubramanian, product manager at Microsoft. “We’re announcing new Outlook integrations with Facebook (News - Alert), the leading social Web site in the world, and MySpace.”
On Wednesday, Microsoft released a “beta” test version of the Outlook Social Connector, the Associated Press (News - Alert) reported
Microsoft officials contend the integration will bring convenience – not confusion – to the mix.
“What we think users will appreciate is that the Outlook Social Connector doesn’tadd another professional or social network into the mix. The Outlook Social Connector doesoffer busy people, who are already a part of one or several networks, convenience – not confusion,” according to Balasubramanian.
The add-on software, which was first discussed last November, adds a new pane to the main e-mail reading screen on Outlook, according to the AP. 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.
The LinkedIn download for the Outlook Social Connector is available today at www.LinkedIn.com/outlook. Download the Office 2010 beta at www.Office.com/beta

Erin Harrison is a senior editor with TMCnet, primarily covering telecom expense management, politics and technology and Web 2.0. She serves as senior editor for TMC's print publications, including "Internet Telephony (News - Alert)", "Customer Interaction Solutions", "Unified Communications" and "NGN" magazines. Erin also oversees production of TMCnet's weekly iPhone e-Newsletter. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison


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