Office 2010 is out in the market, on Microsoft's volume license price lists and installed (at least in Office Starter form) on many new PCs out there. But there are still a couple of complementary technologies that aren't available yet.
I'm not talking about Office Web Apps, the free version of which is still missing some promised functionality, as Microsoft itself has acknowledged. I'm talking about other related technologies of interest to both consumers and smaller business users.
One of these is the Facebook plug-in for the Outlook Social Connector. Microsoft officials said in February of this year to expect that plug-in to be available in the first half of 2010. Yes, we're only one day into the second half of this year, but all I can get (via a spokesperson) is the Facebook plug-in is now coming in the second half of this year.
The Outlook Social Connector plug-in for Windows Live, also doesn't seem to be there yet, either. I would guess that Microsoft may be waiting until it delivers the final version of Windows Live Wave 4 services -- in the fall of 2010, according to the rumor mill.
Another omission is Business Contact Manager (BCM). This feature currently is only available to Office 2010 users who have volume-license agreements with Microsoft.
I've heard complaints about the BCM limitation from a couple of my readers. One of them made an eloquent appeal for the feature:
"As a small-time operator, the most noteworthy aspect of the new (Office 2010) suite -- by far!-- is the total remake of Business Contact Manager. With Office 2010, Microsoft transformed BCM from something that wasn't terribly useful into a truly viable contender, with a much more elegant interface. More than sufficient grounds alone to upgrade to 2010. But rather inexplicably, Business Contact Manager--which seems perfectly suited to micro-businesses and startups -- is only available in quantity licensing direct from Microsoft. Thus, BCM is effectively unavailable to those who need it most, and who would actually use it."
"Business Contact Manager is currently available to volume licensing customers only," a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed. "We are working on finalizing the plans for non-VL customers." The spokesperson provided no date as to when that might happen, however.