Outlook 2010 getting more social?

by Lynnea Bylund on October 9, 2010

Mike at gadgetsteria.com writes

Have you been sitting at your desk staring at Outlook and wondering why you couldn’t view other types of information about your contacts? I’m not talking about the simple information you can find by opening up the address book. I’m talking about integration with outside sources. Sources such as social networking sites. If Outlook is supposed to be this huge communication tool, syncing up or at least displaying social networking information tied to your Outlook contacts would be a huge benefit.

Welcome to Outlook Social Connector, a new feature coming from Microsoft, set to debut in Outlook 2010. The gist of the social connector is just as I was describing above. In keeping with the times, Microsoft realizes how much information end users put on social networking sites and how often they interact with that information — both their own and other users.

For now, the only native connection Outlook can make is to Sharepoint. Hardly a big move in the “social direction”. Another discouraging fact is that early on, LinkedIn will be the only 3rd party social networking service to play nice with OSC. Microsoft does note however that ss launch time nears next year, we can expect to see more social networks joining the fray.

I have to use Outlook at work and generally am impartial to it. I’m not amazed nor am I disappointed. It’s a corporate based email client. It is what it is. But the new social aspects are pretty cool even if a bit plain. Still, just because Microsoft releases such features doesn’t mean that everyone will be able to make use of them. Larger more security paranoid corporations will more than likely disable or neuter many if not all of the social aspects as leaking company secrets and an overall jovial, lighter mood isn’t exactly your stereotypical business environment.

Apart from over controlling corporations, are you eager to see how the Outlook Social Connector evolves? For the first time in a while, I can actually say this Microsoft product has me intrigued.

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