Microsoft goes social with Outlook 2010

As part of Microsoft's Office 2010 announcements today the company has taken the wraps off a number of social networking add-ins that will be available for Outlook 2010.

Outlook 2010 features a new Outlook Social Connector (OSC) straight into Outlook 2010. The connector provides a stream of content from SharePoint, Windows Live and other social networking sites. At the bottom of Outlook emails users will be provided with contacts latest social networking posts. The presence of social networking inside Office 2010 is part of a broad strategy that Microsoft is implementing. The next version of Windows Live Messenger will also feature a social stream within the client, similar to the OSC.

Microsoft has not currently made Facebook or Twitter add-ins available but according to a Microsoft spokesperson an SDK will be provided so that third party developers can create add-ins. Neowin understands that a Facebook add-in is forthcoming but may not be available until Office 2010 ships. Microsoft confirmed a partnership with LinkedIn that will see the social network stream enter into Outlook 2010 once 2010 ships. Microsoft will make a Windows Live add-in available "early next year".

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Silverlight 4 beta now available

Next Story

Windows Mobile 7 UI confirmed by Microsoft?

35 Comments

View more comments

You're assuming that every company out there understands and welcomes social networking with open arms. There are many companies out there that still see it as a complete waste of time and productivity killer. They see it as a waste with people chatting about their kids soccer games and the latest pictures of fluffy the cat.

Personally I can see some benefit in it but I get what the "old timers" are saying but seeing it as a waste of time too. I think it depends on the persons job. Some people have a position that requires networking and making new connections (marketing) while others have jobs that have no business on these social networking sites (data entry for instance).

Social networking in the work place is not about retaining gen x, y, or z people. It's about making new connections and opening doors for the corporation and the corporate product line or services. This Outlook integration is really only useful for a minority of the user base and of course home users. Then again, none of us know what tomorrow holds as far as where technology will take us.

Specifically trying to figure out ways around their employer's security implementations.

Then they just... get written up or fired...

if you can't trust your employees to do their job, not dick around on the internet all day should you really be employing them in the first place?

internet is completely unrestricted in my place, and even though there are only around 40 of us, it works just fine.

To be honest, I don't want social networking intermixed with my work. I like to be able to freely express myself amongst people in my friends list and not have to be constantly conscience about how I'm representing my company.

Doli said,
When I think of Outlook I see it being used more in a business environment and not regular home user so this social network stuff should not be important. I cant see this being used more for Windows Live Mail.

Twitter is starting to become fairly common also in the business.

For example, there are a lot of interesting and good feeds to follow for me being a developer, in order to follow and stay up-to-date with the latest tech news. This is important in order to take advantage of the latest technologies in my job, or at the very least, be aware that they exist.

I'm unsure why real-time news feeds should be only "natural" for your spare time / private use?

Tim Dawg said,
You're assuming that every company out there understands and welcomes social networking with open arms. There are many companies out there that still see it as a complete waste of time and productivity killer. They see it as a waste with people chatting about their kids soccer games and the latest pictures of fluffy the cat.

Personally I can see some benefit in it but I get what the "old timers" are saying but seeing it as a waste of time too. I think it depends on the persons job. Some people have a position that requires networking and making new connections (marketing) while others have jobs that have no business on these social networking sites (data entry for instance).

Social networking in the work place is not about retaining gen x, y, or z people. It's about making new connections and opening doors for the corporation and the corporate product line or services. This Outlook integration is really only useful for a minority of the user base and of course home users. Then again, none of us know what tomorrow holds as far as where technology will take us.

Yeah. I just don't see many corporations embracing this to be honest. It was wise to do this as an add on I think...

Someone can confirm if the new outlook 2010 have the "Like Gmail conversations option" (Threaded conversation)?.

Regards

interesting, i like it.

@Doli, "this social network stuff"...is growing in importance in the business environments. And I am sure there are plenty of people who like me are using laptops for both business/personal purposes.

Yea I know its just another way for them to advertise their presence and/or product which is great for them. I just don't see how important it is getting an email and on the bottom it shows my contact is "is eating green eggs and ham" from facebook just like the image above with the "In" announcements.

Doli said,
Yea I know its just another way for them to advertise their presence and/or product which is great for them. I just don't see how important it is getting an email and on the bottom it shows my contact is "is eating green eggs and ham" from facebook just like the image above with the "In" announcements.

I agree. For personal I can see some people making use of this, but for business I just don't see it...

M_Lyons10 said,
I agree. For personal I can see some people making use of this, but for business I just don't see it...



It *always* depends on the business.

Some businesses already do. Social networks have even made inroads into the public sector (and, as much as the Obama Administration was been talking up their use of social networks, it's the state and local governements that did it first, and do more of it). Why add extra software (and thus extra complexity, and extra entry points for malware and crimeware), when Office is all but ubiquitous?

And as to home use of Outlook, I have news for you - home use of Office and Outlook outstrips *all* use of OpenOffice.org for Windows. (Was widespread home use of Office, or even Outlook, planned for? No; absolutely, categorically, no. Not even at the beginning.) However, consider the migration pattern for most computer software (in fact, consider the migration pattern for the personal computer itself); it started in the business world, and eventually migrated to the home. It happened because people were already familiar *because* they used it at the office; therefore, when it came time to decide what software to use at home, Office (and Outlook) had the *inside track*. My own use of Office is as atypical as it gets, because I've used it primarily at home, as opposed to in a business/office setting; most users took the other route. And due to the burgeoning home-use crowd, social network integration just makes sense.

PGHammer said,
It *always* depends on the business.

Some businesses already do. Social networks have even made inroads into the public sector (and, as much as the Obama Administration was been talking up their use of social networks, it's the state and local governements that did it first, and do more of it). Why add extra software (and thus extra complexity, and extra entry points for malware and crimeware), when Office is all but ubiquitous?

And as to home use of Outlook, I have news for you - home use of Office and Outlook outstrips *all* use of OpenOffice.org for Windows. (Was widespread home use of Office, or even Outlook, planned for? No; absolutely, categorically, no. Not even at the beginning.) However, consider the migration pattern for most computer software (in fact, consider the migration pattern for the personal computer itself); it started in the business world, and eventually migrated to the home. It happened because people were already familiar *because* they used it at the office; therefore, when it came time to decide what software to use at home, Office (and Outlook) had the *inside track*. My own use of Office is as atypical as it gets, because I've used it primarily at home, as opposed to in a business/office setting; most users took the other route. And due to the burgeoning home-use crowd, social network integration just makes sense.

Universities is another place; I know many lecturers, professors and academics have their own facebook page. I also wonder whether it is also a demonstration of a plugin infrastructure so that one can hook into internally hosted 'social networking' facilities as well.

Yes!!! I'm glad I'm not the only one who is disappointed with the new icons.
Windows 7 has updated their icons really well in apps like Wordpad, Paint and the control panel so I was really let down by the overcrowded office 2010 versions

This is a complete rip off of Xobni
Bill Gates said that Xobni was the future of email apps and it looks like he was serious!
I was also suprised to hear that this will be available in Outlook 2003 & 2007 via Microsoft Update. That seems like a weird move. That makes it one less reason to upgrade?

Commenting is disabled on this article.