Microsoft is getting all kinds of social this week, first with the general release of, and now with an update to Outlook's Social Connector that integrates Facebook and Windows Live Messenger.

Never Leave Home Base

The update enables Outlook users to view Facebook status updates, wall posts, and photos without leaving their e-mail:


Users can also add friends to Facebook and Windows Live directly from Outlook's People pane.

While Microsoft's inclusion of LinkedIn last winter was a great move for attracting fickle enterprise folk, this week's update is a nice -- and arguably more popular -- addition to the integration pool. Facebook's quickly approach 500 million users, and  missing out on a number like that by remaining closed off could be more than just damaging. The addition also amps up the social e-mail card, which has been a popular play with rivals such as Google (see: Buzz). 

"Our goal is to help you stay in touch with the people you care about, and simplify your daily routine," said Microsoft. "If you haven't tried it yet, we encourage you to give the Outlook Social Connector a spin and share with us your thoughts and ideas."

The Facebook and messenger components are available as separate downloads, through Microsoft's Update service for Outlook 2010 users, or via the Microsoft Download Center for 2003 and 2007 kids.