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Thoughts on Outlook 2010

Tags: connector · Facebook · Outlook 2010 · social network

Microsoft Office 2010 (or Office 14) is just around the corner, getting ready for its final release (June 2010).

From an Outlook perspective, apart from the usual (minor) interface redesign, I think the new version brings two new, essential features:

  • the ability to group emails as conversations and view them accordingly in your Inbox (more or less similar to Google Gmail);
  • the “social connector” that will allow you to connect to your preferred social network (Facebook, MySpace, etc) directly from the Outlook interface.

While the first feature from above is just a really nice feature, the second one can open many opportunities for both developers and Outlook users. Although it is going to be delivered with some default (official) social network connections, the “social connector” will let developers to program their own connector for any social network. From a user’s perspective, this means alternatives, so it will be highly likely that you will find the right integration tool to fit your exact needs.

Obviously, all these social connectors will highly depend on the functions made available by the related social networks. For example, I don’t think Facebook will want to let developers code an Outlook connector that will render useless the main Facebook site (if everything can be done via the connector, why would you ever login to the Facebook site?). So there has got to be a balance between allowing the developers to actually code a useful connector and not allowing them to implement the whole social network features into that connector. We shall see.

PS: as a side note, Office 2010 should have received the callsign Office 13, but Microsoft decided to skip “13” (bad luck maybe?) and call it Office 14…

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