Microsoft has expanded the capability of their new Office 2010 to allow the direct integration of information from social network site LinkedIn who today announced the appointment of Clifford Rosenberg as managing director for Australia and New Zealand.
The former Managing Director of Yahoo Rosenberg is set to work closely Microsoft.
The new Office 2010 that will integrate information from social networks into the next version of the Microsoft Outlook email program. Business-oriented social network LinkedIn said it would be the first social network to support the feature, dubbed the Outlook Social Connector.
The feature will let people track the activities of their LinkedIn connections, email them, and send invitations to connect from within a new “People Pane” inside Outlook. Microsoft says the Outlook Social Connector is available in preliminary form with today’s public beta release of Office 2010.
LinkedIn says its functionality will be available early next year. It follows the company’s recent announcement of a partnership with Twitter that lets LinkedIn users tweet their LinkedIn status updates.
The Outlook team says in in its blog post that the feature will also work with networks from Microsoft’s own Windows Live and SharePoint 2010. It notes that other social networks will also be able to build similar connections into the Microsoft email program.
The functionality looks similar in some respects to the tool offered by Seattle-based Gist, a Paul Allen-backed company, to bring together messages and information from a variety of social networks and email providers, including Outlook and LinkedIn. We’ve sent a message to the company to gauge its reaction, and we’ll update this post depending on the response.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 52 million members globally and more than 1.1 million members in Australia and New Zealand.
Rosenberg’s long-term responsibility will be to grow the company’s diverse business model comprised of user subscriptions, advertising sales and enterprise software licensing for the Australia and New Zealand market. Near-term this will include a focus on user engagement, strategic partnerships, marketing and general operations. Rosenberg will be based in Sydney.