Outlook gets social with Facebook

Microsoft updates Outlook Social Connector to let users view Facebook photos, status updates, and wall posts without leaving e-mail. Windows Live integrated, too.

Microsoft's Outlook Social Connector now connects with Facebook and Windows Live Messenger.
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft's Outlook Social Connector has just gotten a bit more social courtesy of a new update that has added Facebook and Windows Live Messenger integration to its mix.

Unveiled Tuesday, the latest version lets Microsoft Outlook users view status updates, wall posts, and photos of their Facebook friends without leaving their e-mail. People will also be able to add more friends to Facebook and Windows Live directly from Outlook's People pane.

Facebook and Windows Live join LinkedIn and MySpace, which Microsoft integrated into the Outlook Social Connector last winter. Making its debut last year as part of the beta of Office 2010, the Social Connector went through a major upgrade in February. The service now integrates the latest three editions of Outlook, namely 2003, 2007, and 2010.

Outlook 2010 users can grab the latest version of the Social Connector through Microsoft's Update service, while Outlook 2003 and 2007 users will find it at the Microsoft Download Center. The Facebook and Windows Live Messenger components are also available as separate downloads.

In line with the new version, Microsoft has updated its Outlook Social Connector FAQ page to address common questions and problems with the service.

Microsoft has been positioning the Social Connector as a way to tap into the growing community of social networks. The blog cited ratings from Nielsen, which said 67 percent of people online now use social networks and blogs as a way to stay connected, make decisions, and get things done.

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