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Microsoft Outlook Becomes More Social by Connecting to Facebook and Windows Live

Email organization becomes hip again. For its business email solution, Microsoft has added more capabilities to the Outlook Social Connector. The Outlook add-on now allows users to connect to Facebook and Windows Live from within the Outlook interface. Notifications, status updates, photos, etc. can be viewed directly in Outlook.

The newly updated Outlook People Pane gives users a compiled view of the social interactions they’ve had with another contact. In a single collapsible menu, each user can see all the notifications, posts, photos, and emails exchanged between the other person and himself across the different social networking platforms. Users can even add “Friends” to their social networks from within the Outlook People Pane.

Screenshot of the Outlook People Pane interface

The Microsoft Outlook Social Connector respects the privacy settings already in place on the social networking sites.

This isn’t Microsoft Outlook’s first foray into social networking sites. Last winter, Microsoft added support for MySpace and LinkedIn. In the near future, Microsoft expects to add more social networks, as well as software updates, to the Social Connector.

The Outlook Social Connector has also been updated so that it is compatible with Outlook 2003 and 2007. Users of these older Windows Office versions can download Outlook Social Connector from the Microsoft Download Center, while Outlook 2010 users automatically receive the Outlook Social Connector through a Microsoft Update.

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[Photo courtesy of digiday.]