Microsoft Outlook Hooks Up with Social Networking Sites

Software giant Microsoft is taking steps to make what might be the stodgiest of email and communications applications—Microsoft Outlook—into a functional piece of the connected generation’s lifestyles: The Outlook Social Connector add-on puts a new pane into Outlook’s primary reading area that can display information from a sender’s social networking activities, including status messages and contact information. Available in beta form now, Outlook Social Connector has been included in beta versions of Office 2010, but the new version can hook into Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 as well.

Microsoft Outlook Social Connector (thumb)

The software uses connector plug-ins to access individual social networking services. Currently, professional social networking site LinkedIn has a connector available; Microsoft says connectors for Facebook and MySpace should be available in the first half of 2010. Microsoft plans to release a connector for Windows Live, and speculation has Microsoft working on a connector for its own Xbox Live gaming service. Currently, the connectors are one-way: users can get information from social networking services, but can’t post information back to social networking services via Outlook. The Outlook Social Connector also taps into activity feeds for co-workers and colleagues using social features in Microsoft’s SharePoint 2010 server.

Outlook has traditionally been pitched as an email and communications applications for business, enterprise, and large organizations: these are also precisely the sort of IT regimes that routinely block access to services like FaceBook, MySpace, and Twitter at the workplace, viewing them as hinderances to employee productivity. It seems likely that control over the Outlook Social Connector will still be in the hands of IT departments in these situations, but Microsoft is betting that social networks are useful enough to some of its customers that direct integration will be a benefit to them. The question is, for the rest of the social networking world, is it too little, too late?


New ‘Battlefield V’ patch gives Nvidia’s ray tracing support a chance to shine

‘Battlefield V’ is the first game to use Nvidia’s ray tracing support, now available with the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti graphics cards. The feature can, in an ideal scenario, make the game look better, but the performance hit may not be…

Change your Outlook password quickly and easily by following these steps

Keeping your digital accounts locked up with strong, unique passwords is important, so learning how to change your Outlook password quickly and easily is one of the best ways to stay safe online.

If you work in an office, you should know how to recall an email in Outlook

Writing out angry emails can be cathartic, but it's best not to send them. If you do though and you're running Outlook, there is a chance to take it back -- if you act fast. Here's how to recall an email in Outlook.
Social Media

Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

Amtrak is looking for travel fans with a knack for telling stories on social media. The new Amtrak social media residency program wants amateur travelers to share photos, video, and written content from aboard long-distance trips.

Changing file associations in Windows 10 is quick and easy with these steps

Learning how to change file associations can make editing certain file types much quicker than manually selecting your preferred application every time you open them. Just follow these short steps and you'll be on your way in no time.

Intel's dedicated GPU is not far off -- here's what we know

Did you hear? Intel is working on a dedicated graphics card. It's called Arctic Sound and though we don't know a lot about it, we know that Intel has some ex-AMD Radeon graphics engineers developing it.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Capture screenshots with print screen and a few alternative methods

Capturing a screenshot of your desktop is easier than you might think, and it's the kind of thing you'll probably need to know. Here's how to perform the important function in just a few, easy steps.

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX331UA -- will get the job done without digging too deeply into your pockets.

Vanquish lag for good with the best routers for gaming

Finding the best routers for gaming is no easy task. With so many out there, how do you know which to pick? We've looked at the many options available and put together a list of our lag-free favorites.

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Product Review

It's not the sharpest tool, but the Surface Go does it all for $400

Microsoft has launched the $400 Surface Go to take on both the iPad and Chromebooks, all without compromising its core focus on productivity. Does it work as both a tablet and a PC?