Outlook 2010 will have a revolutionary social networking edge to it. Currently, the Outlook 2010 beta has LinkedIn integrated so that your LinkedIn network will appear when e-mailing an Outlook contact who is also in your LinkedIn network. For example, if John Jones, your college buddy who is in another company gets a promotion and new contact details, you’ll see this within Outlook and your Outlook contact for him will be automatically updated. In essence, you’ll be more on top of LinkedIn within Outlook without having to constantly go back and forth between the website, LinkedIn, and your Outlook.
Microsoft is also working with Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace to incorporate those accounts into Outlook. When Facebook arrives to Outlook, we believe there will be a lot of Outlook testers out there. However, Facebook and Twitter are still for the majority personal social networking websites whereas LinkedIn is for professionals. So, it will be interesting to see how well Facebook and Twitter will merge with Outlook. Further, there might be a lot of companies out there that block such social networking sites due to loss of productivity time.
In any case, it is worth trying, and it’s free, including the Microsoft Outlook 2010 beta. Follow these 3 steps to try out LinkedIn via Outlook:
- Get the Microsoft Office 2010 beta
- Then, get Microsoft’s Social Connector
- Finally, install the LinkedIn beta
Please note you can also use the LinkedIn beta for Outlook 2003 and 2007. The technical support setup on this is easy and you may always uninstall the software if you don’t like it. The Office 2010 beta expires in October 2010 so you’ll be able to test that software at least for a few months if you’d like.