The Outlook Social Connector has just added Facebook and Windows Live to the stable of connectors. What does this mean? The temptation is to say that Outlook just got social but to be fair, Outlook has been social for a pretty long time. It’s now connected to several hundred million more people.
What does the connector do? I’ve been using both for a few weeks and they provide elegant and simple integration of Facebook and Windows Live status updates in to the Outlook window (shown above). There is still stuff I will go to Facebook.com or Windows Live Messenger to see but it’s great to have this integration right there inside Outlook as it’s a place I spend a fair part of my working day…and night. As you can see above, the OSC does a nice job of bringing in the news feed of your contact. If an email has multiple person involved, you can click and see the feed of each of them and you end up with a very nice history of your connection to the other person.
The connectors are not just passive scrapers of data either – you can make connections directly from the social pane. The folks behind this have focused on the details too – bringing in photo from Facebook for example.
Oh and for all of you folks running Office 2010 either full blown or trial, the connectors work with both. If you’ve already been using the OSC, there is an update for that to be downloaded before you grab the connectors.
Check out the Mashable review as they got an early look whilst on our Campus last week.
You can grab the bits from the Microsoft Download Center