Microsoft launched the Outlook Social Connector earlier this year, beginning with the integration of LinkedIn into all the elements of Outlook. Now, Mashable is reporting that Microsoft is about to integrate both Facebook and Windows Live Messenger into Outlook in much the same way.
Outlook will pull both pictures and status updates from Facebook friends directly into your email, as well as various other information like wall posts and activities. What you can’t do is update directly from Outlook, including changing your status and “liking” other posts. It sounds like that ability will come soon, though.
Microsoft’s also learned a few lessons from the privacy fiascos Facebook and Google have undergone in recent months. Outlook will only pull data from emails connected to Facebook accounts. If your business email isn’t linked to your Facebook, your data stream won’t appear in Outlook Social Connector. It gives users a choice, although most people do choose to add their work emails to Facebook in order to join their company’s Facebook network.
Provided the new integration isn’t too overbearing or annoying, this could be a pretty nice feature for Outlook users to have an easier way to know what their contacts are up to. It’d be even better if it included, say, Twitter and Foursquare support as well, but that could well come later.