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I successfully installed Office 2010 Professional Plus Edition 32-bit on my Windows 7 Professional 64-bit laptop and one of the new features that caught my eye was what Microsoft called the People Pane.
Sometimes I get too excited of installing new software without checking out what changed or what’s new in a release of that software. 🙂 Anyway, I read about the new features of Office 2010 and I found that the Outlook 2010 allows users to connect to social networks such as LinkedIn and MySpace and soon to Facebook and Windows Live. Just after I realized that Twitter was not included in the list, I wondered why LinkedIn and MySpace was supported first than Windows Live which was a Microsoft service. That’s another story though. I’ll go back to what this blog is all about.
When you click on the Add caption with the “plus” icon, the following dialog box appears:
Click on the Next button.
Now, where are the supported social network providers in the list? I thought they will be in the list as packaged in the Office 2010 installation. I decided to do trial-and-error because this is supposed to be user-friendly, right? 🙂 I clicked on the My Site checkbox and I was presented with three textboxes. I tried filling in the www.linkedin.com and my username and password, but I always got an error. So, I just thought that My Site referred to My Site in the company Sharepoint site since the icon beside the caption looked like an icon in Sharepoint.
I clicked on the hyperlink “View social network providers available online” and my browser navigated to Outlook Social Connector Partner Listing site.
I should be following the instructions here, right? As the instruction said, I clicked the LinkedIn icon and I was redirected to the homepage of the LinkedIn site. Where’s the LinkedIn connector? Nothing!
I clicked on the first result and I was directed to the Office blog. The blog was talking about the Outlook 2010 Social Connector but it was referring to the beta version of Office 2010. I read it anyway and finally I found the missing link! http://www.linkedin.com/outlook. How come this link did not launch when I clicked on the LinkedIn icon in the Outlook Social Connector Partner Listing?
I clicked on the yellow Download it now button and waited for the quick download to complete. It’s only 1.10 MB. I ran the downloaded LinkedInOutlookConnector.exe, clicked on the Next button in the opening dialog box, clicked on the I Agree button in the EULA or End User License Agreement that followed, and the Install button in the dialog where you would be prompted for the install location. I didn’t have to change the default install location so I just clicked on the Install button.
When I go back to the Social Network Accounts dialog box, 2 entries were added in the list: LinkedIn and another instance of My Site. This must be a bug in the installer because both instances of My Site have the same parameters.
I entered the user name and password that I use to log in to LinkedIn and clicked on the Connect button. The Connect button will be enabled when you have keyed in your user name and password. I clicked on the Finish button and the succeeding congratulatory dialog box.
My Contacts pane then had a link to the LinkedIn contacts which when clicked, will show up the list of contacts in my LinkedIn network.
At this point, setting up the LinkedIn Outlook connector which this blog was all about ends. What do I get from installing it?
One, you get your LinkedIn Contacts in your Outlook. With this, you can choose from the following context menu when you right-click on a contact:
Second, you receive status updates and photos right there in the People Pane of Outlook 2010. I got this snapshot from the Office Blog rather than displaying my own LinkedIn contact.