Outlook 2010 has a new feature called the People Pane. You turn it on/off in the View ribbon tab, shown here.
In Normal view, it shows up as a pane at the bottom of an email message you’ve received.
Minimized, you see less… and Off, you don’t see it at all. Oddly, if it’s turned off, you cannot turn it on from a message window. It can be turned on only from View in the main window.
In the view shown here, you see in in several places—one of them is circled in red. That means that the person is one of my LinkedIn contacts. The in annotation shows up only if you’ve installed the LinkedIn social connector add-in for Outlook—one of two social connector add-ins that are available as of this writing. The other is MySpace, which I don’t use. Connectors for Facebook and other social networking sites are in the pipe, but not available right now.
To get the connector for LinkedIn, first, don’t bother if you’re using the 64-bit version of Office 2010. It’s available only for the 32-bit version of Outlook. It’s okay if you’re running the 64-bit version of Windows 7—I am. You can download the LinkedIn add-in here (http://www.linkedin.com/outlook).
After you install it, you’re not done yet. In Outlook 2010, click the Add-Ins tab, then click the Social Network Account Settings item, then click on LinkedIn. If you haven’t previously set it up, you’ll be prompted for user name and password.
Fill in your name (your LinkedIn email address) and password, and click OK. Then click Connect.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll receive a congratulatory notice, and you’re done. The LinkedIn add-in will [eventually] add a LinkedIn contacts folder, and when you open email from LinkedIn contacts, you will see the indicator.
Caveat. Okay. This might not work, or it might take a while to work. When I added the LinkedIn add-in to my desktop computer, the LinkedIn contact folder and the in logo appeared rather quickly when viewing messages. On my laptop, 60 minutes later, there’s still no visible indicator that it’s working. I’ll revisit later to see if it’s working yet.