Socialwok Adds A Collaboration Platform To Microsoft Outlook

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Socialwok, a product that ads a social layer to Gmail and other Google products, is spreading its wings beyond the search giant to Microsoft land. Today, the startup, which launched its Google Apps-focused product at TechCrunch50 last year, is rolling out the Socialwok Social Connector for Microsoft Office Outlook 2010, 2007, 2003.

Similar to the layer that Socialwok creates for Google Apps and Gmail, the connector allows Outlook users to create a private social network within the application to share ideas, emails, files, Office documents from Microsoft Word, Google Docs and other rich media using status updates.

From inside Microsoft Outlook, users can see the latest activity of their co-workers in the office as well as view what files and emails have been previously shared. Microsoft Office users can also access the Socialwok user profiles of their co-workers from the Microsoft Outlook address book.

Of course, the timing of Socialwok’s connector fits with the roll out of the new version of Office 2010 this past week, which brings all of its applications, including Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint, to the PC, phone and browser. Outlook specifically has been revamped to become more social, with integration available for LinkedIn and MySpace

But Socialwok’s beauty is that it wraps a collaborative, social network around the most unsocial of email applications, allowing users to never have to leave their email clients. And as Microsoft moves its applications to the cloud and the idea of the social CRM takes off, Socialwok’s plugin could become appealing to business users.

Socialwok, which employs a freemium model, has steadily been adding features and improvements to its application, including adding support for Facebook, Twitter and Buzz within its applications and releasing a new version of its HTML 5 mobile version for Android and iPhone browsers.

Of course, it’s interesting to see Socialwok playing nice with Microsoft products considering the startup has mainly tied its application to Google products. Not only was Socialwok was chosen as one of the showcase companies for AppEngine technology at this year’s Google IO Developer Sandbox but Socialwok was just integrated as a pilot partner in Google’s recently launched Google Apps Marketplace.

The Microsoft integration certainly adds a twist to our theory that Google could buy the startup. It should be interesting to see if Socialwok will face the same fate as Google Docs killer and collaboration platform Etherpad or Microsoft Word collaboration plug-in Docverse.

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