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Check out this little screen shot snippet that I just captured.  I grabbed  this from the header of an email message in Outlook 2003.  Now, how do you suppose that the AOL presence icon got there?

I think I have a clue… At first I thought it might be something to do with the Live Messenger beta I just installed.  After all, in May 2003 the two companies agreed to hold talks on integration.  Alas, it appears to be a feature of Plaxo instead.  Good on the folks at Plaxo!  It’s very useful, even if it’s disappointing that Microsoft and AOL are apparently no closer to a solution.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Boris Mann January 10, 2006, 8:01 am

    Cool…kind of like what Mac OS X has had for…hmm…several years?

    Of course, the interesting thing is….I never use that feature. I live in IM first, and "fall back" to email. I suppose it might be useful if the email app somehow had access to Chat archives as well, but as is, it's a "neat" feature that doesn't add any value.

  • Alec January 10, 2006, 9:04 am

    I think it adds value Boris. I'm pretty email centric. What this lets me know, as I am reading the email, is if the sender is available to talk right now.

    Windows has been able to do this for several years as well, but only with MSN. What's interesting is that this spans multiple IM systems.

  • Alec January 11, 2006, 8:32 am

    Just a further follow up to this. My friend Jim Courtney did some more digging and discovered that there is very deep integration between AIM and Plaxo. You can log into Plaxo with your AIM ID, now, for instance.

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