Microsoft released the Facebook Outlook Social Connector on Tuesday.
The final piece in the Office 2010 puzzle sees full connectivity to Facebook within Outlook. The Outlook social connector (OSC) links Outlook contacts with Facebook and provides end users with the latest status updates, contact information and profile pictures. OSC is built into Office 2010 but users of Office 2003 and 2007 can also download the social connector.
Microsoft unveiled the social connector during the beta phase of Office 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 social connector for Outlook will also link to MySpace and LinkedIn social networking accounts. 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 Office 2010 hit RTM (release to manufacturing) on April 16, 2010. Microsoft is currently running an Office 2010 Technology Guarantee. Customers who purchase Office 2007, or a new PC with Office 2007, and activate it before September 30, 2010 will be offered a free upgrade to Office 2010. Copies will be available online, via download, at no additional cost.
The highly anticipated release of Office 2010 went through months of beta testing since November of last year. Copies of Office 2010 went on sale in June. In January Microsoft announced Office 2010 pricing. The professional edition retails for $499 boxed. Office 2010 is available in at least five different flavours, including a free version that includes Microsoft Word and Excel, but comes with limited functionality and includes advertisements. Office 2010 is also available as Starter, Home and Student, Home and Business, Professional and Professional Academic.
Microsoft's Facebook social connector is available at Microsoft's download center.