Microsoft readies Outlook for social battle

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Microsoft announced Wednesday that Outlook users will now be able to connect their LinkedIn accounts to their Inbox after downloading the new LinkedIn for Outlook add-on.

Outlook users will be able to view colleague status updates, sync LinkedIn contact information with Outlook contacts, and add new connections from within their Inbox.

Microsoft also announced that later this year, Facebook and MySpace integration will be coming to Outlook. Users will be able to see status updates, view photos, and add friends to either social network from the e-mail platform. Unfortunately, the company didn’t announce Twitter integration.

Microsoft’s decision to add MySpace and Facebook to Outlook could be a reaction to Google Buzz, the online company’s new social network that it recently integrated into Gmail, a major Web-based Outlook competitor. Aside from basic social-networking features, Buzz also includes Twitter support.


-- Don Reisinger