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New Social Features of Office 2013 Explained – BUILD 2012 Oct 30, Redmond, Washington Announced

Microsoft in a new Office Next blog post details the social networking feature of the Office 2013 Preview. One of the first things you’ll see in the new release of SharePoint is the “social Newsfeed,” that shows the posts and activities that come from people, documents, sites, and tags you are following.

In other words, things that you are expressly interested in all show up in this view.

Microsoft’s Ben Wilde explains the features said, “For example, I’m following my co-worker Louise and whenever she posts something, I see it here. When she follows a document, I see a notification in my Newsfeed. Because I work with Louise, I like to see what she’s doing and what she’s interested in. Similarly, if I follow a document (the draft of this blog post, for example), my Newsfeed lets me know when my collaborators have made any changes or whether it’s been shared with additional people for review.”

Newfeed social networking feature in Office 2013

In addition, Office 2013 also let you easily access all of the content that you care about in a single place by visiting “Followed Documents” and “Followed Sites pages.”

From these pages, “I’m able to easily open documents or navigate to sites that I’ve followed in the past. Plus, by taking advantage of the new unified “Enterprise Search engine,” I’m able to see high-quality, relevant recommendations to help me expand and grow my network,” Wilde notes.

Wave 5 of Office also helps connect with personal social networks through the “Outlook Social Connector for the new Office” which can connect to LinkedIn to and Facebook without any additional downloads by just entering “username and password,” you are ready to go.

Office and SharePoint each have ways to make it easy to find the exact person I’m looking for, Wilde notes, “When I search for a person in Outlook, the results are automatically ranked based on how closely I work with each person on the list. When I search for an expert in SharePoint, it will return the best matches based on people’s areas of expertise. Plus, with SharePoint’s “fuzzy matching” search, I don’t even need to spell their name right to see them show up in my results!”

The “People Card” lets you access the people information (including their past activities across their social networks, whether they’re free or busy, and where their office is), and can instantly connect with them immediately, either by following them, or by using the Person Card to send an email or start an IM, a phone call, or a video call.

Another new feature, called “community sites,” a discussion forum, let you discover connections, ask questions, and get instant feedback on the projects you’re working on.

“While it’s great to discover experts by looking at people’s reputation in a community sometimes I’m not 100% sure what I’m looking for. I can choose to post a broad question to my Newsfeed, which often produces a quick response, but I also like to have the ability to find someone on my own, then ask them a question directly,” Wilde said.

Wildes also notes, that they’re still early in the integration process of the Yammer, but they look forward to sharing more at the upcoming SharePoint conference in November.

In other Microsoft news,

BUILD 2012 conference, October 30th, Redmond, Washington

Microsoft 2012 BUILD conference will be held from October 30th to November 2nd at its Redmond campus. “Well, here it is: our next developer conference will be this fall, and it’s (again) called BUILD. It will be held on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington, from October 30th until November 2nd,” the company announced today.

It’s the week after Windows 8 becomes generally available worldwide. And in addition to Windows 8, Microsoft will have several other stuff to talk about, that include: Windows Azure, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012, Visual Studio 2012, and much more.

So how to attend the conference? Microsoft will open the door at 8AM Pacific time on 8.8, and the registration for BUILD 2012 at www.buildwindows.com. At that point, the comapny will start sharing details over time about keynoters, sessions, content, and more, but for the time being, set a reminder for August 8th.

Microsoft is also starting the hype-train for the event by saying that the event “will be unlike anything we’ve held on our corporate campus in a long time”.

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