Microsoft always said it wouldn't force LinkedIn integrations, and 27 months from its acquisition, little has changed. However, the company is now rolling out two major LinkedIn-powered features to Office 365 users, with small additions coming to a number of apps.
The integrations highlighted were first showcased by Microsoft at Ignite 2018 and appear to be ready for a general release. The first is the ability to hover over a contact's name to see information from their LinkedIn profile. This feature is coming to Outlook for Web, OneDrive, and SharePoint, making it easier to start conversations.
Second, the ability to directly interact with first-degree LinkedIn contacts has received a targeted release. With this addition, you can send emails, share documents, or co-author with LinkedIn users by simply typing their name in the field.
Recipients get the email through their primary LinkedIn email address, but there are some natural limitations. Organizations need to enable external sharing for this to work in Excel Online, Word, PowerPoint, SharePoint, and OneDrive.
ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley put the number of Microsoft-LinkedIn integrations at eight in January, with others including Resume Assistant for Office 365 and Dynamics 365 integration.
With the huge acquisition investment, it's clear Microsoft is thinking long-term. It doesn't seem in any particular rush to integrate, so far not pushing compatibility where it doesn't make sense.
Even so, these wider rollouts bode well for those looking for a more unified platform. Though they aren't stand-out features alone, everything is likely to tie together nicely as the platforms get closer.
You can read more about the latest changes, and how to enable then, on the TechCommunity blog.