E-Marketing in Minneapolis David Vinge, eMarketing Dashboard : Microsoft Adds LinkedIn Plugin to Outlook

Monday, March 1, 2010

Microsoft Adds LinkedIn Plugin to Outlook

In February, Microsoft released a "beta" test version of the Outlook Social Connector. The add-on software, which was first announced last November, adds a new pane to the main e-mail reading screen on Outlook. When a user clicks to read an e-mail message, the new pane fills up with the sender's most recent social-networking activities. Those could include the addition of a professional contact on LinkedIn or a "what I'm doing now" status update from Facebook.

Microsoft's new software will also treat Outlook itself as a social network. If the e-mail sender and recipient are jointly working on a document stored on a company's Sharepoint server, both will see updates if one logs on to make edits.

For now, the new software doesn't let people use Outlook to push information back up to LinkedIn, Facebook or other sites. But you can invite people in your Outlook contacts to join your professional network on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn, which is primarily used for business networking online, is the first company to make its add-in software available. This past November, LinkedIn announced a partnership with Microsoft to bring the LinkedIn Professional Network right within your Microsoft Outlook Inbox. People using Office 2003, 2007 and beta versions of Office 2010 should first download the updated Outlook Social Connector beta then add the LinkedIn plugin. Read more on the LinkedIn blog.

Microsoft said the Facebook and MySpace plug-ins will be ready for download by the time Office 2010 goes on sale in June.

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