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The new People Hub in Outlook 2013

Ever wonder what’s going on with the person you haven’t spoken to in a while?  Want to find out what’s new with someone before sending them an email or giving them a call? If you do, Office 2013 is the product for you.

Office 2013 brings all the people you care about in one place. You can view contacts from multiple email accounts, and updates from social networks, including Facebook and LinkedIn. Office 2013 makes it easy for you to get things done with people.

People Everywhere

If you are like most people, you have contact information spread across multiple different sources. For example, Wendy is a Facebook friend, a LinkedIn connection, and I have her personal mobile number saved in Outlook. In Office, I can see all of Wendy’s data from these various sources in one place:

 Office 2013 Contact Card

Outlook goes social

To see a person’s Facebook and LinkedIn data inside Office, you just have to connect Outlook to these social networks. You can do so very easily by going to File > Account Settings > Social Network Accounts. Type in your username and password for Facebook and LinkedIn, and Office will present contact data, pictures, recent activity, birthday etc. from these sources.

Office 2013 respects user’s privacy settings on Facebook and LinkedIn. Office will only display your data from Facebook and LinkedIn if your privacy settings allow other’s to view these data.

Here’s what Wendy’s “What’s New” tab looks like:

“What’s New” tab in Office 2013 Contact Card

This Contact Card can be shown by hovering, clicking, or double clicking, on a person anywhere in Office, including, but not limited to comments in Word, contacts in Lync, and email recipients in Outlook etc.

 

People Hub

The People view, seen by clicking the People button in Outlook 2013 has also been refreshed. This clean, new UI makes it easy to quickly view a person’s contact information (from all the different sources) in the Preview Pane. You can also easily communicate with your contacts by just one click, right from the Preview Pane.

Outlook 2013 People Hub

Powerful, easy search, and access to your Favorites

You can pin someone to your Favorites for easy access. That means you can pin people like commenters on your Word documents, Lync buddies, or PowerPoint authors to your Favorites. Later on, all you will need to do to see their contact information is hover on People as shown below:

 Outlook 2013 Favorites

The unified People Search is accessible from the People Peek (right above the Favorites section), and from the ribbon. It helps you find people from across all of your contacts; for example, your company’s address book, people you frequently email, and supporting IM providers like Lync.

 

Powerful edit

If you actively manage your contacts to keep their information up to date, you will love the new inline edit feature in Outlook 2013. Just hit the Edit button on the Contact Card, and start typing. For example, this powerful feature makes it easier than ever to add a field such as a second home phone number.

Office 2013 Contact Card edit experience

                                                                

Try out these new, cool people centric features in Outlook today. Let us know in the comments section what you think!

–Rubaiyat Khan, Program Manager, Office People-Centric Experiences

 

 

Join the conversation

18 comments
  1. i would like to know which other IM providers oukllok will support….facebook/skype/messenger?

  2. Now all we need is an option to view all contacts from all accounts in Outlook in one place. Right now I have a tradition POP3 account with associated PST file and well as an Outlook.com account as a secondary account. An "All contacts" view would be very helpful here.

  3. This is all great but you seem to have forgotten about one issue – there is no way to change a picture/avatar of the contact. You have to change the view to an old one (like business cards or list) and edit the contact in the traditional way. This is VERY frustrating, please fix it.

  4. It’s great but useless to me without Google or Google+ integration, but probably it’s google’s fault

  5. Is there a easy / straight forward way to connect address book to a SharePoint document library so we can see documents associated for any given Company/Person contact?

  6. Incorporating People Hub in Office suite is a really great feature!

    Can you please fix a little/tiny bug in Microsoft Word (desktop)?

    In Office 2010 or 2013 desktop version, with the checkbox "When selecting, automatically select entire word" (at File > Options > Advanced: Editing options) checked.. (which is by default) Type this sentence:

    "Office is a wonderful software suite"

    Click between double-f of the word Office and while holding Shift, click between r and e of the word software. It would select, "Office is a wonderful softw" instead of "Office is a wonderful software". The entire word selection should work at both end points of the selection. Try it in Internet Explorer (8/9/10), and it would make the right selection. But unfortunately, IE doesn’t have "When selecting, automatically select entire word" customization option in advanced settings to turn it OFF.

    Can you guys collaborate with IE team and streamline this feature in both products (fix the implementation in Word and provide the option to disable it in IE).

    Vote up if you like this request: https://connect.microsoft.com/IE/feedback/details/766053/option-to-disable-the-entire-word-selection

    Thank you!

  7. I like the way this is going. I’ve been using the Outlook 2013 for some time now and I like how the people data come to life with Facebook integration. The one thing missing is sync with Google Contacts. As much as I like Exchange for work, I have a personal account on Google Apps and an Anroid phone, and I’d love seeing Outlook fit into this relationship as well.

  8. Ok so we have a unified contacts list, for the most part it is relatively editable, and it generally makes sensible choices when merging… so why… why is this not taken to its natural conclusion of being stored against your Windows Live account and used in ALL Microsoft applications which use contacts? Why do I still need to export contacts created in the Windows 8 People app and import them to Outlook? And why with such a flood of useful contact metadata from the social connectors can I not just compile some form of master list which combines all of the detail into one TRUE contact. It just seems underwhelming to have to set up so many syncs and workflows to achieve a decent contact list which is shared amongst any application I use

    • SO FREAKIN TRUE. I dont understand this… i love the whole metro stuff and this unified experience. But there are – as you said – obvious gaps everywhere. Why is the people hub in Office 2013 not getting the contacts from the Windows 8 People Hub? And why can’t i save the data collected from Social Networks in the Windows Live Contacts so it is available even after deleting the Connection to said Social Network?

  9. All of the current generation Microsoft product just hurts my soul, I TRULY love 90% of what it does, and that last 10% is just like a stab in the heart, because it is all such obvious gap that makes the other 90% not as useful

  10. Hi Team, is there any way to see the contact’s team and manager without doing Administrator OCT/GPO modifications?

  11. I used OCT to Disable "Remove Organization Tab" … didn’t seem to do anything as I still cannot see the Organization tab. Only way to see organization is to Enable "Display legacy GAL dialog". Any idea?

  12. This feature looks great, but the "search people" function in the main outlook window is flawed. Several problems exist…

    1. when I pull up people’s names in this search, I often cannot see phone numbers and other data that I know is there. For example, if I search for "john smith" all I see is his email address…. when I go to the PEOPLE area and search from there, I can see everything… why? There is no way to customize this behavior to fix??

    2. I want to customize the icons for phone, video, etc… so I can access a SIP autodialer directly from my search results. I used to be able to do this quickly in 2010, now I have to search for the contact, find the SOURCE contact (When its listed, which is rare) and then open the call dialogs… I should be able to customize the PHONE icon in the search results to do this.

  13. I second Russell…
    This feature looks great, but the "search people" function in the main outlook window is flawed. Several problems exist…

    1. when I pull up people’s names in this search, I often cannot see phone numbers and other data that I know is there. For example, if I search for "john smith" all I see is his email address….

    You have to got to the address book to see the phone numbers from the GAL. You did not have to in the past. That is just more clicks.

  14. Is there no way I can import all of my Facebook contacts into Outlook? Contacts get imported only on the outlook website and not on the office application. That way, I will have to manually add each and every person and then link their email ids to facebook.

  15. From Email able to add the contacts, can you guide me how to assign the Categories at the time. (Right now I’m saving the contact then open contact got assigned the Categories group)

  16. I hate the People tab. Clunky. Annoying. Not easy to use.

  17. Not all phone numbers of my contacts are displayed. Assigned categories are not displayed well.

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