Social Inbox Wars: Microsoft Launches Social Connector

Amidst all the buzz around Google Buzz, Microsoft fires their own shot across the bow via the Outlook desktop email client – Social Connector.  According to the Microsoft Blog:

The Outlook Social Connector is a set of new features to help keep track of your friends and colleagues while enabling you to grow your professional network. The Outlook Social Connector is available now as part of the Microsoft Office 2010 Beta.

imageThis is an excellent move by Microsoft.  If done correctly, this upgrade could really change the way people interact with Facebook.  Like Twitter client’s like TweetDeck, it could contribute to a decreased amount of time spent on Facebook.com. I for one would visit Facebook FAR LESS if I could access some of the core functionality via Outlook.  On a personal note, I am hopeful that this project is successful as I spend a great deal of time using my Outlook client.

Per my last post, I think that we are going to continue to see real product changes from traditional players like Microsoft, Yahoo and Google coming from the Inbox out, as they race against the clock.  Although there have already been some advances by folks such as Yahoo, I think that the war will really heat up this year.

Facebook isn’t resting on its laurels, either, though.  Project Titan is going to be Facebook’s attempt at a full web-mail client and should be launching soon.  This is an amazing move by Facebook.  If successful, it will really solidify their lead as the standard for online communications.

[Editor’s Note: Hooman cross-posted this at Widgify. –mrh]