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