Windows Live group program manager Jeff Kunins detailed the recent integration of professional networking site LinkedIn with Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, and Windows Live in a guest post on the LinkedIn Blog. Highlights (including a video):
We’re pleased to announce that starting today, you can connect Messenger and your Windows Live profile to LinkedIn. LinkedIn features in Hotmail will start to roll out today and over the course of the next three weeks, depending on your location.
We recognize how tedious it is to manually clean up duplicate contacts in your contact list, but it’s important that you have easy access to the right contact information for the right situation. For example, when you send a work-related email, you may use a different email address than when you send a personal note to the same person.
When you make the LinkedIn connection with Windows Live, your LinkedIn contacts are automatically linked to the same contact you already have stored in Windows Live, so that you have one record with the combined set of information. Now you can compose and send email to your LinkedIn contacts right from Hotmail.
Having your LinkedIn contacts connected to Windows Live doesn’t end with just email, however. Your LinkedIn contacts are available to you across Windows Live, including the Photo Gallery. You probably wouldn’t think to associate photos with your LinkedIn activities, but with people tagging in Photo Gallery, for example, you could tag a photo of someone you saw at a conference, because it’s always helpful to put a face to a name.
When you’ve connected LinkedIn with Messenger, news from your colleagues will be added to your Messenger social updates. Just like with your existing Messenger, Facebook, and MySpace friends, you can choose to make any LinkedIn contact a favorite so their updates get prioritized in Messenger highlights.
And when you comment on social updates, your comments post right back to LinkedIn. This is consistent across the Web and iPhone Messenger app, as well, so you’re always connected, even while on the go.
We also make it easy for you to use Messenger and the rest of Windows Live to automatically show your LinkedIn contacts what you’re doing and sharing, even if they don’t use Windows Live. If you choose to have your Windows Live activities shared out to LinkedIn, then when you update your status in Messenger or Hotmail, or upload photos and documents that you’ve set permissions to Everyone or Friends for in SkyDrive , these updates are posted to LinkedIn.
Finally, you can easily choose to have your LinkedIn activities (like status updates and job changes — always interesting information from LinkedIn contacts) shared with your Messenger friends, even if they don’t happen to use LinkedIn yet.