Connecting and staying connected to people, whether for business or personal reasons, is one of the great opportunities with technology.  In today’s times, there are many different ways to stay connected online and with the initial launch of the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector, it brought forward a way to streamline many of these online connections through the already familiar interface many around the world know today in Microsoft Outlook.  Now, the Outlook Social Connector takes another step forward with the announcement this week of the availability of the Facebook and Windows Live providers for download and use in the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector.

So what is the Outlook Social Connector?  The Outlook Social Connector is a new feature set in Outlook 2010 that offers:

  • Personal information management:
    • Information about the people you’ve chosen to be connected to (for example, their photos, job information, status updates).
    • Your communications history.
  • Connection to Microsoft social networks:
    • See social activity from Windows Live and SharePoint 2010 at-a-glance.
  • Open API for 3rd party Network “Providers”:
    • Connect to popular social networks including Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn.
    • Developers can write to OSC API to connect social networks and line of business applications brings communications history, social networking, and business networking right into the Outlook inbox. In November, Microsoft released the Outlook Social Connector SDK to enable developers to build connectors to third party social networks.

With the additions added in this week, providers for the Outlook Social Connector now include: Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Windows Live. Outlook users can go to the Outlook Social Connector provider page to get started. 

If you are not currently using the Outlook Social Connector yet today, I would highly suggest getting started with it today.  For users with Outlook 2010 already, the Outlook Social Connector is already included in Outlook.  To get the latest update of the Outlook Social Connector:

  • Outlook 2010: get the OSC update through Microsoft Update
  • Outlook 2003 and 2007 users: Download the latest version of the Outlook Social Connector from the Microsoft Download Center

As a current user of it myself, I can say that I really like this new addition to Outlook and I believe you will to.  Once you go out and give it a try, I’d love to hear your input and feedback on how you like it.

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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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