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The good news about Outlook

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Considering how buggy and incomplete Microsoft final software releases are (think Vista), I wouldn’t want to find out what Microsoft actually considers a beta version to be.

Microsoft today released a public beta of Outlook 2010 that includes heavy integration with social network sites with its new Outlook Social Connector. The feature will allow you to update your contacts directly from your social networks and, more importantly, feed updates from your social networks directly into Outlook. And, for those of you who use SharePoint, Microsoft’s collaboration software, Outlook will connect directly to SharePoint Server and update you on all the activities in your groups. Of course, most of the rest of us don’t use collaboration software and them that do don’t use Sharepoint. I’ll put this in the I’m Impressed file when Outlook can connect up with these other, more affordable collaboration solutions.

As of today, only LinkedIn integrates with the new, more socialized Outlook.

And, just in case you’re interested, here’s a list of all the new features in Outlook 2010. And, for some strange reaon I just can’t fathom, their demonstration animation on this page isn’t in Flash, which everyone has on their computer, but in some obscure, never-used format called SilverLight. What could they be thinking?

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