Microsoft to Unveil 'MOOL' for Outlook

With MSN Desktop Search out the door, Microsoft is expected to continue ratcheting up its beta MSN offerings with "MOOL."

As first reported by BetaNews, MOOL, or Microsoft Office Outlook Live, extends MSN Outlook Connector and Hotmail integration beyond MSN's Premium service. Microsoft unveiled its long-awaited Desktop Search Monday as part of the new MSN Toolbar Suite Beta.

As Microsoft endeavors to broaden its MSN reach through added consumer services such as e-mail and search tools, MOOL brings these efforts full circle into Redmond's prized Office System. MOOL connects Hotmail and MSN mail accounts to Outlook and provides synchronization of e-mail, contacts, calendar entries and tasks.

Although MOOL is currently in beta testing, Microsoft has posted a Flash demonstration detailing the use of MOOL with Outlook 2003. Functionality-wise, MOOL is similar to Microsoft's MSN Outlook Connector.

But unlike its Outlook Connector predecessor, which is available only as a feature of MSN Premium, MOOL will be offered as a separate subscription service to all Outlook users. A final launch of MOOL with public availability is expected in early 2005.

Further extensions to the service are also likely after the initial launch. Evidence suggests that one possible usage scenario for MOOL would be to enable customers to integrate their Verizon Wireless voicemail into Outlook, ultimately being able to store, annotate and search messages.

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