You've got streamofconciousnessdribble
Software giant Microsoft has long put unified communications at the heart of its productivity software strategy. Inevitably, social networking has become a central pillar of that UC mix and Microsoft today announced it's adding Facebook and Windows Live Messenger to its Outlook proposition.
You can see how it will manifest itself in the Microsoft video below, and it looks quite promising. However, with outlook being one of the pieces of software most people use regularly at work, it's debatable how keen employers are going to be on their staff being constantly alerted to ‘social' updates.
This development will presumably be bad news for Xobni, which already makes a social plug-in for Outlook. We've tried both and find Xobni useful for seeing what people who email you look like. The last time we had Microsoft Connector installed, however, it tended to make our Outlook crash, so hopefully Microsoft's sorted that out.
But then again, Social Connector was only launched toward the end of last year, so it may well be a fresh start. Outlook 2003 and 2007 users have to download the plug-in, but it seems to be fully integrated into Outlook 2010. LinkedIn and MySpace have been available via Social Connector since its launch.
"According to the Nielsen ratings, 67 percent of the global online population now goes online to visit social networks and blogs to stay connected, make decisions, and get things done," said Paco Contreras Herrera, group product manager for Office, in a blog post.
"Today's news demonstrates our commitment to evolving Office to support the way you get things done. The Outlook Social Connector doesn't add another social network into the mix; rather it offers busy people the convenience of accessing them in Outlook."