Microsoft Office Outlook Connector Beta

Available for download

In essence, Microsoft Office Outlook Connector Beta is designed to bridge Office Outlook 2003 or Office Outlook 2007 with Windows Live Hotmail and Office Live Mail accounts. Microsoft revealed that it plans to charge nothing for users that will access emails and contacts via Office Outlook Connector. The download weighs in at 4.1 MB and it is only a beta version, and as such, it will come with the inherent problems of a product in testing stage. In addition to the basic functionality common to both free and paid accounts of Windows Live Hotmail, Outlook Connector will enable subscribers of MSN Premium, Office Live Essentials, or Office Live Premium to not only sync their email and contacts but also calendar, tasks and notes.

"I pinged Jared Brown today who is a Program Manager on the Outlook Connector Team to discuss today's Beta release and the Outlook Connector in general. One of the benefits that Jared highlighted for me was that when the Outlook Connector is installed it does not alter any pre-existing email accounts already setup in Outlook. For example: if you are a user in a Microsoft Exchange environment and want to access your Hotmail account via Outlook, the Connector won't impact the use of being connected to a Microsoft Exchange Server. Both email accounts will work without causing issues. "You'll essentially have two folders for each module, one will sync one won't (just like you'll have two email Inboxes etc.)," Jared explained," as cited by Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc.

The backbone of Office Outlook Connector is a technology dubbed DeltaSync. Brown revealed that DeltaSync is a protocol shared by Windows Live Mail, designed for web services synchronization. DeltaSync is an evolution of the previous technology at the backend of outlook Connector named DAV. "DeltaSync was created to boost efficiency and finally let us create a version of the connector that we can release for free," Jared said.

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