Outlook gets Facebook and MySpace integration

Office turining into a social butterfly
Office turining into a social butterfly

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.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.