Social Features in Outlook Already Available with Xobni
Regarding the social features mentioned in Social Connector, you don’t have to wait until next year... Xobni is offering this stuff (and more) now, and has been downloaded more than 3 million times. Not to mention, we don't take over your preview pane - perhaps the most valuable UI in Outlook. ;)
Xobni has shown that bringing in social elements into the inbox is very powerful, so Microsoft’s announcement of Social Connector is an obvious step to bring Outlook into the current state of technology. WE’ve been focusing for years by developing killer search in Outlook and also allowing you to not only view, but interact with sites/services like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Salesforce, etc. (again, available now). Bill Gates himself called Xobni “the future of social networking” at Microsoft Office Developer Conference last year.
To share a few details on Xobni, we deliver lightning-fast search, automatic contact profiles, a "threaded" view of email conversations, automatic phone number extraction so you don’t have to create a contact in Outlook, a “network” pane which shows all the people associated (or copied on emails) with that contact, analytics and content integration from top social networking sites – all without having to leave Outlook. We also have Xobni Rank, which works to bring the most important emails and people to the top – even as you are composing an email. At least from what we can see, only a portion of this feature set is addressed in Microsoft’s announcement – for example, there’s no innovation in Outlook search, which is one of the features our users love the most about Xobni.
We’ve also announced that we are expanding to new platforms – just last week ago, we demoed up on stage at the BlackBerry Developer conference a new mobile platform that delivers a version of Xobni for BlackBerry devices.
So give us a shot (free) at http://xobni.com.