Email hasn’t gone away yet, especially not at work. When Microsoft releases the next version of its Office software, professionals will be able to collaborate more easily with their LinkedIn connections in Outlook.
The professional network’s new integration with the office productivity software will address at least one important problem with the Outlook Social Connector, which currently works with Outlook 2010, 2007, and 2003. Wrote LinkedIn’s David Breger in a blog post:
Today, we’re really excited to share that the Outlook Social Connector for the next release of Office will no longer require an additional download to sync with LinkedIn. This means you just have to sign-in once with your LinkedIn credentials and immediately you’ll start seeing rich profile information, like photos and LinkedIn network activity for any connection that emails you. You’ll also see LinkedIn profile data surface when you view a People Card throughout the new Office experience.
Here’s a sample social inbox from Microsoft’s blog. Notice that the email contains a picture of the sender at the top. Along the bottom, there’s a status update with a link to a news story. Microsoft’s Gray Knowlton explained that his co-worker Rob “frequently reads through important industry journals and posts the news that matters to our team in his feed” on his social networks, which now appear in his emails as well.
The idea is to make it easier to work with colleagues remotely, putting a face to a name without having to, in a sense, leave work to look someone up on LinkedIn. The news follows Google’s acquisition of Sparrow, an email service that connects with Facebook and makes inboxes look more like Twitter feeds.
Image by nokhoog_buchachon via Shutterstock.