Outlook gets Facebook and MySpace integration

Microsoft adding social-networking tools to Outlook

Microsoft has announced that the beta of its social connector for Outlook will soon be expanded to include MySpace, Facebook, and Windows Live.

The software, first mooted last November, adds a new pane to the main mail reading screen in Outlook. This shows recent activity among friends on a social networking site whenever a user clicks on Outlook to read an email message.

To date, though, the only social network hooked up to the social connector is LinkedIn.

Microsoft obviously hopes that the addition of the new networks will make Outlook into a social networking hub. On the Office 2010 beta site, the company promises: "Synchronise your contact data right into Outlook 2010 and obtain information about your friends and colleagues. See status updates from various networks and recently posted files—even view shared photos.

"Connect to SharePoint Server 2010 social data and receive updates from your workplace, such as newly posted or tagged documents, site activity, and more."

Coming soon-ish

Users can currently only read information from LinkedIn on Outlook, not change their own status or upload material.

Microsoft says that the plug-ins to access Facebook, MySpace and Windows Live in social connector will be online by the time Office 2010 lands on shelves in June. In the meantime, a beta of Office 2010 is available free.

Curiously, Microsoft forgot to mention Google Buzz in there.


Content Team Lead

Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.