Microsoft has just announced that the 2013 edition of Office will include better Facebook and LinkedIn integration. This is particularly interesting given the fact that Apple seems to be moving in a Twitter direction, but we’ll get to that in a minute. The new Office will showcase Facebook and LinkedIn within Outlook, so that Outlook users will have an easier time linking up the social networks using a new feature called “The Outlook Social Connector.”
Not surprisingly, Microsoft has realized that social networks are the future (or are the “now”), and this company doesn’t want to be left behind, as is the case with competing companies. The way that Microsoft has integrated LinkedIn and Facebook with Outlook is really quite innovative, and it’s a feature that is certain to grab lots of consumer attention.
It’s All About Information
Using the new Office 2013, it will be possible to gain LinkedIn and Facebook information about any person who contacts a user. The only thing that users have to do is sign into a LinkedIn or Facebook account, and Outlook will provide all of those necessary details (profile info, photos) from there. The whole process takes just moments to complete, works rather seamlessly, and is really a step in the absolute right direction for Microsoft.
Of particularly interesting note is a new feature called People Card. While the details of this feature are somewhat mysterious (at the moment), People Card will enable Office users to find out where contacts are and whether or not those people are currently busy. I will be interested to find out more about People Card as Microsoft begins to unveil the secrets behind the new Office. For now, though, let’s touch on an intriguing fact: Microsoft chooses Facebook and LinkedIn while Apple goes with Twitter.
For Apple It’s Twitter; For Microsoft It’s Facebook
Apple’s new Mountain Lion OS X is highly integrated with Twitter – so integrated, in fact, that it might not even be worth it for non-Twitter users to upgrade. While not an OS, Microsoft seems to be leaning more towards the Facebook and LinkedIn side of things. Given the fact that everyone seems to be moving away from LinkedIn (Twitter included), this is an interesting choice for Microsoft. Granted, Office is all about business and so is LinkedIn, but the Facebook integration is somewhat baffling. Might Facebook and Microsoft be negotiating? Or, does Microsoft really see Facebook integration as being an invaluable business feature? Twitter doesn’t play into the new Office scene, which is another interesting point to consider.
If you’re curious about Microsoft’s happenings, you won’t find Office available just yet on store shelves. But, you can read the company’s latest press releases in order to learn more about the new Office. As for that official non-beta release date, you should see the new Office on store shelves within the next month or so. Pricing information will also be released at the time of the official launch, so keep checking back for additional details.