People who use Outlook to read email and track schedules can also import their Facebook contacts into the programme.

Microsoft has released a plug-in, available online, to do just that. An assistant handles the installation, along with that of an Outlook Social Connector, which can interface with various social networks. Along with Facebook, interfaces are also possible with LinkedIn and MySpace, with plans to introduce an interface for Xing.

The free online portal Windows Live also offers Facebook integration, although setting it up involves clicking through multiple websites. To make up for that, the user can decide in which way the information should flow — only from Facebook to Windows Live, or also vice versa.

That means users can take their Windows Live status information and have it uploaded directly to their Facebook profile.

The application makes clear that agreeing to connect to Facebook means that any information stored with that site can be accessed, including information from one’s own profile, as well as from one’s contacts. Those status updates are then shown on Windows Live’s start-up page.