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Outlook Gets Social with LinkedIn, Facebook, and MySpace

Update:

We have heard that some Microsoft Outlook 2010 Beta users are experiencing crashes when trying to use the new Outlook Social Connector (OSC) Beta (February Update) that was released today along with the LinkedIn Provider for Outlook.

The OSC that was included with the Outlook 2010 Beta must be uninstalled before installing the new OSC Beta (February Update). After the February OSC update is installed, the LinkedIn Provider for Outlook can then be installed.

This information is included on our Download Center page for the OSC Beta (February Update). 

If you have installed the OSC Beta (February Update) and Outlook is crashing, follow the steps outlined on this page. As a reminder, only 32-bit Outlook is supported right now.  64-bit support for the OSC will be available soon.

 

In November 2009, we announced both the beta of Microsoft Office 2010 as well as the Outlook Social Connector. The Outlook Social Connector brings together communications history, contact information, and professional and social networking information into the Outlook experience.

We are continuing to deliver on that vision today with two new announcements. First, we’re proud to announce the public beta of LinkedIn for Outlook, which will enable our millions of Office 2010 Beta users to connect the OSC to a public network for the first time. Second, we’re excited to announce partnerships with Facebook — the most popular social Web site in the world, and MySpace — a leading social platform connecting people through expression, content, and culture.

LinkedIn for Outlook brings together the most popular professional network with the world’s leading professional Inbox. Here are some of the things you can do today by downloading the beta:

  • Connect to your LinkedIn account to view your colleagues’ status updates and photos next to an e-mail message they sent you.
  • Your colleagues’ latest contact information from LinkedIn automatically updates his or her Outlook contact. Whenever someone changes a phone number, e-mail address, or other contact details, it’s automatically updated in Outlook — you are always up to date.
  • Synchronize your mobile phone with Outlook to stay up-to-date — you don’t have to worry about keeping track of new phone numbers and contact info — contacts’ information from the Web is synchronized to your mobile phone.
  • Grow your professional network directly from within your Inbox — add colleagues with one click.

We are proud to continue partnering with LinkedIn and we want to congratulate them on a job well done. With this beta, our customers are able to stay connected to their network without leaving the Outlook Inbox.

Our vision for Outlook (and the OSC) is to provide a communications hub that is vital to both professional and personal communications; by integrating with both Facebook and MySpace, Outlook 2010 enables you to connect not only to co-workers and colleagues, but with all of your friends and family within your Outlook Inbox.

Facebook for OutlookFacebook for Outlook

You can view friends’ activities, photos, and status updates within Outlook — as well as grow your network by adding friends from the same view. Both Facebook for Outlook and MySpace for Outlook will be available later this year as our official release of Office 2010 approaches.

Finally, its important to mention that with multiple professional and social networks available for the Outlook Social Connector, the design of the OSC is such that your privacy and permissions settings on each of the networks you use are represented and respected within this experience. For example, if your profile photo and job title are publicly listed on a given network, then OSC users will see your photo and job title when receiving an e-mail from you (if they use that same network). Similarly, if you choose to restrict profile access on a given network, the OSC will respect that privacy. The goal of the OSC is not to create another social network or set of privacy settings for you to manage, but rather to bring the networks you already value and use to the Outlook experience.

To recap, here is what you can do today to get started with the Outlook Social Connector.

  1. Download the Office 2010 Beta at www.Office.com/beta
  2. Update to the latest version of the Outlook Social Connector using the instructions on the Microsoft Download Center.
  3. Get the LinkedIn download for the Outlook Social Connector at www.LinkedIn.com/outlook.
  4. Keep watching the Outlook team blog for availability of the Facebook and MySpace download for the Outlook Social Connector at http://blogs.msdn.com/outlook/.

Note To use LinkedIn for Outlook requires the latest version of the Outlook Social Connector, which supports the 32-bit English version of the official Microsoft Office 2010 Beta. The beta of the Outlook Social Connector is provided as-is, is subject to change without notice, and does not include formal product support from Microsoft.

We are thrilled to reach this significant milestone with LinkedIn and to welcome both Facebook and MySpace to the Outlook Social Connector ecosystem. Stay tuned to this blog for more information from the Outlook team as we get closer to the launch of Office 2010!

Dev Balasubramanian – Outlook Product Manager

Michael Affronti – Outlook Program Manager