July 14, 2010

Facebook Added To Microsoft’s Outlook

Microsoft has added Facebook compatibility to its personal information management software, giving users the ability to access the Internet's most popular social networking website while reading or writing email, the company announced in a blog entry on Tuesday.

"Starting today, you can plug Facebook and Windows Live right into Microsoft Outlook through the Outlook Social Connector," group product manager Paco Contreras Herrera wrote in Microsoft Office Blog entry dated July 13. "You can view your social network as you look through your email to stay connected with your friends, family, and colleagues."

According to Herrera's post, anyone using Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007 can download version 1.1 of the Outlook Social Connector from the company's Download Center website, while Outlook 2010 users can obtain the software through Microsoft Update. Once they have the Outlook Social Connector update, users can then obtain a provider download or Facebook, as well as one for Windows Live Messenger, via the Microsoft Download Center.

Outlook has also supported MySpace and LinkedIn since February.

"Now you'll be able to view status updates and photos right next to an email," Herrera also pointed out in his blog entry. "Also, you will be able to grow your social and professional network directly within Outlook by simply adding 'Friends' to Facebook and Windows Live directly from the Outlook People Pane... Working closely with key partners including Facebook, our goal is to help you stay in touch with the people you care about, and simplify your daily routine."

Tuesday's partnership with Microsoft continues what has already been a busy week for Facebook.

On Monday, the popular social networking site rolled out a new "panic button" feature in cooperation with the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). The ClickCEOP feature, as it is known, appears on a user's profile page when it is added or bookmarked and is designed to allow users between the ages of 13 and 18 to notify Facebook officials if they encounter "suspicious or inappropriate behavior," according to a report by Reuters' Kylie MacLellan.

Facebook is also in the midst of a legal battle with New York native Paul Ceglia, who sued the company on June 30 claiming 84-percent ownership of the social network. Ceglia's attorneys claim that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg signed a contract in April 2003 commissioning their client to design a website, tentatively titled "The Face Book" or "The Page Book," in exchange for $1,000 and 50-percent of the business up front, and an additional one-percent each day until the work was completed.

According to a Monday AFP article, representatives from the company released a statement dubbing Ceglia's the lawsuit "completely frivolous" and stating that they would "fight it vigorously."


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