The Beginning of the End for Outlook (and Microsoft)

The end for Outlook is close now. This causes me some genuine pleasure. I’ve always disliked Outlook but really learned to hate it when wanting to back up my email files prior to formatting my disk (to get rid of one of those Trojan viruses. Of course I couldn’t do it and my first Mac was the result. With this announcement Microsoft is admitting peoples information needs extend way beyond the desk top, and once they do that Outlook is history. Microsoft is also putting the boot into all those Web 2.0 Contact Management systems, destroying whatever the builders thought were business models.

Windows Live Introducing Centralized Contacts

Some interesting news coming out of the Windows Team Blog today.  With the recent Microsoft push into the cloud, it’s no wonder we’re seeing this, however.

According to the blog, you can now access all of your contacts, across all of your Microsoft services, from a single location: http://contacts.live.com The contacts gathering goes deeper than just Microsoft services, however.  From the blog:

Not all of the people you know are going to be in your address book, though. For example, I know a lot of people on Facebook and LinkedIn, but I don’t have contact info for every one of them available in Windows Live. For this release, we built a set of features that connects Windows Live to the social networks that you use and keeps track of your entire list of contacts. When you connect a service like Facebook, MySpace, and soon LinkedIn to Windows Live, all of your contacts from those services will be available in Windows Live automatically.

The service will also look for duplicate contacts, and allow you to select which service you’d like to use to stay in touch with them.  This compacted view will act as a profile page for each contact, showing you all of your connections with them.

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