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OutSync puts Facebook faces in Outlook

Cute utility from a Microsoft program manager does something useful and then gets out of the way.

This is sort of handy: OutSync is an app that will compare your Outlook and your Facebook address books, and then take the photos of people you know in Facebook who are also in Outlook, and copy them into your Outlook contacts.

Hey, your Facebook is in my Outlook.

It gets really cool if you use a Windows Mobile phone to connect to your Exchange server, because once it syncs the address book, the photos will then show up when people call you.

I'm not completely sure this app honors Facebook's terms of service, but it seems pretty innocuous. And it only applies to people who use all four of these platforms: Facebook, Outlook, Exchange, and Windows Mobile. It was developed by Mel Sampat, who works on the Windows Mobile team at Microsoft.

I tried the program on my networks. It took 20 minutes to compare my 3700+ Outlook contacts to my 278 Facebook friends, and it made 101 matches. It put those 101 photos into my Outlook file as advertised and then shut down. Downsides: The algorithm doesn't let you examine the Facebook and Outlook records side-by-side to make sure the matches are all correct, nor does it let you manually match records when it doesn't pick up a correspondence. And it's not a live sync--it won't pick up new Facebook/Outlook matches until you run it again.

But it's a great, if small, example of how our separate social networks should work together. And what do you want for free, anyway?