Lots of new features (see source post for more info and screen shots) - but given how badly I think the RSS engine was built in Outlook 2007 (the first "social" extension to Outlook perhaps), I'll take a "wait and see" perspective re: user experience and performance. User experience is going to be a high bar for me. Interoperability will also be key - how will other vendors integrate with OSC or will this just be great if you are "all Microsoft" re: Exchange, OCS, SharePoint (and don't forget about BPOS parity between on-premises and/or SaaS). Also, how shareable is the social data with other applications (within security and privacy controls). Basically, I wonder how much social data Outlook creates, pulls from other sources, or manages and what social data (or analytics, usage patterns, etc) are sharable with other applications or made available via an API. And what about OWA. I wonder if LinkedIn will share its connector built for Outlook with other applications/vendors or is this an exclusive deal with Microsoft (anyone know? - have not had time given travel and deliverables, last month has been pretty heads-down for me)...
The Outlook Social Connector (OSC) brings social views of your colleagues and friends right to your Inbox. As you read your e-mail messages, glance down at the new People Pane to see the picture, name, and title of the sender. A rich, aggregated collection of information about the sender is included.
The OSC presents useful information including:
- Communication history Your mailbox is searched and the recent messages you’ve exchanged with that person appear. Can’t remember the last time you e-mailed this person? A quick look at the OSC reveals the last time you received an email from them, and one click opens up the message.
- Meetings When is the next scheduled meeting with this person? The OSC shows upcoming appointments that include you and the message sender.
- Attachments Can’t find the attachment that the person is referring to in a message? With the OSC you can quickly review attachments that you and the sender have exchanged. One-click access quickly opens the attachment or you can see the message that it is attached to.
- Activity feeds Stay on top of activities involving your colleagues and friends in real time. The OSC connects to business and consumer social networks.
- Did you say activity feeds? Yes we did! The OSC makes Outlook 2010 a social networking tool by connecting to the new social experiences in SharePoint