Since last January when Office 2013 first appeared on the edge of everyone’s radar there have been continual leaks and rumors about what it would come with. Since its release last week we now know for almost definite -- we do know it is going to be a lot more social. And the announced integration with LinkedIn underlines that.

Office 2013 and LinkedIn

The information appears on a LinkedIn blog by David Breger, who is Product Manager with LinkedIn. He says that as of the next release of Office, users will no longer require an additional download to sync with LinkedIn.

Instead, with LinkedIn's Outlook Social Connector, as soon as users sign-in they will be able to see and access information from anyone that emails in Outlook. By information we mean all the information that appears on LinkedIn when people add information to their account.

Berger talks about receiving photos, or rich profile information about contacts. Users will also be able to view a People Card across the entire Office suite.

"We've been working closely with Microsoft for some time to make it easier for you to bring your LinkedIn network right into your Microsoft Outlook inbox experience," Berger said.

The thinking behind this is that because users are spending so much time in Outlook, the new connector will enable people to track what is going on in LinkedIn, what contacts are discussing and sharing, as well as important information like email addresses and any other contact information, without ever leaving Outlook.

It also seems that LinkedIn is also talking to Microsoft about integrating the Outlook application into LinkedIn in the coming months, but, says Berger more on this in the coming weeks.

Information, Outlook, LinkedIn.

As for connecting from Outlook to LinkedIn and accessing all that information about contacts directly from Outlook, is it such a good idea for businesses? There is no doubt that information about contacts is a good thing, but do you really want it any where near your email?

Remember all the problems we have come across in the past about email overload and too much residual information in outboxes, inboxes or folders.

It sounds by the way Berger is describing it that all the information that goes with a contact will also arrive in your email automatically.

It’s not that we haven’t had some of this access before. Since February 2010, e-mail addresses, profile details and photos from LinkedIn connections have been appearing in an Outlook Contacts folder named “LinkedIn". It just seems that with this you are getting all this information automatically and more once you have signed in to Outlook.

That said, it’s good to get ‘socialized’. The new Office has already announced that it becoming social by integrating with Yammer and Skype, and now it is taking the next obvious step, which is LinkedIn. It’s not clear if this is available with the Preview version, but it is definitely coming in the full release of Office 2013.