Google offers Hangouts video plugin for Microsoft Outlook users

It's a rare thing for Google to launch a product that benefits users of a Microsoft application, but that's just what the company has done with a new plugin designed for the many users of Outlook for email.

As detailed in this Google support page, it has released the Hangouts Plugin for Microsoft Outlook. The plugin allows users of Microsoft's popular email client to join, start or schedule a Google Hangout video session directly from Mail or Calendar. This system is supposed to be for Google Apps Business, Government or Education account users. It also requires Windows 7 or 8 (sorry, Vista PC owners) and Microsoft Outlook 2007, 2010 or 2013.

Once the Hangouts Plugin is downloaded and installed, users of Outlook should see two new buttons in the ribbon UI for Mail and Calendar for scheduled and unscheduled video calls.

A year ago, Microsoft announced it had added support for Google Talk to its web email service. That addition didn't make Google very happy. In fact the company's CEO Larry Page commented on the move during the company's I/O developer conference that same week, stating that Microsoft was "... inter-operating with us but not doing the reverse, which is really sad."

Source: Google via WPCentral | Image via Google

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Considering Outlook's primary audience and how non-enterprise oriented Hangouts is by design this sounds like odd marriage to me...

What is the point of excluding Vista? Its actively receiving support and shares 95%+ of its code with Windows 7, as far as I have seen there's little compatibility issues between Vista and 7 these days.

I don't think any organization with even light security policies would allow any company whose sole purpose is gathering information about its users to have access to their corporate email even if it is a video/chat plugin.

I just hit the button to download it then it hit me...I'm installing something on my PC from Google... NAH... never that..!!

This has more to do with working with companies or individuals outside your company. Mostly people use Skype but Hangouts has gotten really good and there is a shift to using that now. Internally my company uses Lync and it actually has good web interface for outside connections for Lync meetings (I use it sometimes just to test it).

Hahaiah said,
Somewhat ironic considering the recent data "sharing" MS been a part of.

Sharing with a government is not the same as sharing with anyone who will pay for it. In that sense, I'd never let Google's services near any of my employees or data.