Email once ruled as the supreme commander of computer-based communications, the fastest and most effective way for people to exchange messages and information.

That's no longer the case; for better or worse, social networking services such as Facebook increasingly seem to be supplanting them. The free Microsoft Outlook Social Connector tries to merge the power of social networking with that of email, giving you access to the social networking services Facebook and LinkedIn from right within Outlook. To a large part, it succeeds.

See all: PC Advisor software downloads

After you install Microsoft Outlook Social Connector, it integrates directly into Outlook 2003, 2007, and 2010. It runs as a new pane at the bottom of Outlook's messaging window. The pane serves multiple purposes. It shows you their latest updates from LinkedIn and Facebook.

Microsoft Outlook Social Connector shows all of your communications with the person--all the emails, attachments, and meetings you've had with them. It lists them by type, so that you can see all emails, for example, all meetings, all attachments, and so on. The list appears instantaneously. It's a superb tool even if you don't use the social networking part of it, because even without that, it shows your email communications with the person. It's similar to the free Xobni for Outlook add-in, and not quite as powerful, because it doesn't offer Twitter support that Xobni does.

See also: Xobni Plus review

One thing missing is that you can't post updates from Outlook to social networking services--post an update to Facebook, for example.

Microsoft Outlook Social Connector: Specs

  • Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP
  • Microsoft Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010
  • Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP
  • Microsoft Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010

OUR VERDICT

Microsoft Outlook Social Connector is a very useful tool, one which every Outlook user should give a try even if they don't use social networks.

Find the best price