Wrapping It Up
In addition to seeing the People Pane in an e-mail message, it also appears when you open a contact or a calendar item in Outlook. Here’s another cool social networking feature: After connecting to a network such as LinkedIn, you can now view all your LinkedIn contacts within the context of Outlook without having to add them first. To check this out, click Contacts in the navigation pane, and you’ll see a contacts group called LinkedIn (see Figure 4).
Figure 4 Outlook contacts groups.
Outlook Social Connector ships with Outlook 2010, but if you’re using Outlook 2007 or 2003, you can install Outlook Social Connector as a separate download.
If you’re ambitious, Microsoft provides a framework for creating your own social network provider. A scenario for which you may want to build your own provider would be if you wanted to show updates from an internal corporate application or web site in the People Pane. For more information, see the documentation on MSDN.
You may be used to working in Outlook to send e-mail and manage contacts and then switching to your browser for social networking. But Outlook Social Connector blurs that line, and you may find that Outlook isn’t just for e-mail anymore.