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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Microsoft adds Facebook access to Outlook 2010

SERIAL SECURITY THREAT Microsoft has announced that the next version of its Outlook email client will feature tight integration with social notworking sites.

Through Microsoft's introduction of the Outlook social connector middle ware layer, back-end services such as Sharepoint, Windows Live, Facebook and Myspace will be able to push information directly to your inbox. Last year the Vole announced that its Outlook social connector would be released as part of the Office 2010 beta programme in partnership with LinkedIn, however now it seems that Microsoft has managed to sell the big social notworking sites on supporting its gossip delivery platform.

In an Outlook MSDN blog post, Microsoft announced its latest partners, trying to show it's serious about social integration in its popular but often security challenged email application. The blog post goes on to describe in tedious detail how you will be able to look up your contacts history to give you all sorts of questionably useful information, such as when you last interacted with your colleagues.

Unsurprisingly, the Vole is going to be using its Outlook social connector to push content from its almost non-existent social notworking site Windows Live direct to your Outlook email inbox. Vital information such as status updates, profile updates and pictures will be pushed into Outlook right along with messages that might actually mean something to you.

Integrating social notworking together with scheduling and email application has hit the headlines lately with Google's botched rollout of Buzz. While Microsoft is aiming its Outlook social connector at businesses, it should be acutely aware that privacy will have the potential to make or break its rollout of this feature.

For employees the Outlook social connector aims to show "real-time activity" for both social and business networks, so further discretion may be required to avoid privacy problems.

This isn't released yet, as Outlook 2010 will be coming out with the rest of Office 2010 much later this year. There's a beta programme going on at the moment, but Outlook social connector only works on the 32-bit version of Outlook at present.


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