MSOutlook.info

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Outlook Connector Pack contents

When installing Windows Live Essentials, I also installed something called the “Outlook Connector Pack”.

What exactly is this? It used to contain the Outlook Connector, is this the same?

The Outlook Connector Pack, which is part of the Windows Live Essentials Suite, contains both the Outlook Hotmail Connector and the Windows Live Messenger provider for the Outlook Social Connector. Interestingly enough, it does not contain the Outlook Social Connector itself.

If you were to install the Outlook Connector Pack on a machine with Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007, which don’t already have the Outlook Social Connector installed (see below for details), the Windows Live Messenger provider will not be installed. In that case, the Outlook Connector Pack installs nothing more than the Outlook Hotmail Connector.

The Outlook Connector Pack is offered via Windows Live Essentials
The Outlook Connector Pack is offered in the Windows Live Essentials Suite.

Outlook Hotmail Connector

The Outlook Hotmail Connector can be used to connect to accounts hosted on Windows Live Hotmail such as from the standard Hotmail, MSN and Live domains.

The Outlook Connector Pack will automatically determine for you whether you’ll need the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version of the Outlook Hotmail Connector.

An overview of the locations for the standalone downloads (and any available BETA versions) of the Outlook Hotmail Connector can be found here.

Outlook Social Connector

The Outlook Social Connector (OSC) can be used to connect Outlook to popular social networking websites to obtain additional contact information such as a contact picture or recent updates they placed on the social networking website. This is visible in Outlook via the “People Pane” displayed at the bottom of a message.

As said, strangely enough the OSC itself is not included in the Outlook Connector Pack. Outlook 2010 has the OSC already built-in but requires an update (which is offered via Windows Update). The standalone installer for Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 is available here.

Outlook Social Connector providers

The Outlook Connector Pack contains a “provider” for Windows Live Messenger. Providers are needed to connect the Outlook Social Connector to a specific social networking site/network. The following providers for the Outlook Social Connector are available;

Note: If you install the OSC after installing Windows Live Suite, you’ll need to run the Windows Live Suite installer again to get the Windows Live Messenger provider or use the standalone installer of the Windows Live Messenger provider listed above.

Windows Live Messenger provider for the Outlook Social Connector (OSC)
The Windows Live Messenger provider for the Outlook Social Connector can be a tricky thing to install in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 when using the Windows Live Essentials Suite.


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