Office 15: Microsoft planning instant messaging feature for social networks like Facebook

Microsoft shows in a recent job ad that they plan to integrate Office 15 instant messaging features into social networks like Facebook.
Written by Stephen Chapman, Contributor

A brand-new job ad posted on Microsoft's Careers Web site this morning has given us quite a tasty morsel to whet our Office 15 appetites. This news helps to continue painting a picture of Office 15 as we have previously seenin other job ads, online resumes, and recently leaked screen shots. How/if Microsoft will make Office 15 tie into Windows 8 is still a mystery, but after reading this, I wouldn't be surprised to see some out-of-the-box thinking where Windows integration is concerned -- perhaps even on the developer front. Straight from the job ad (emphasis added by yours truly):

The Lync Server team is building the next generation of unified communications and collaboration solution for the enterprise and Office 365, transforming the way Information Workers communicate. If you are interested in driving industry leadership & vision for Collaboration from any device anywhere any time while working in an environment that also values execution; the Lync server team is for you! For Office 15 we’re building new products to deliver integration of instant messaging/presence with social networks such as Facebook. In addition, develop Lync XMPP server to deliver seem less interoperation with other XMPP based IM/Presence/Conferencing solutions.

Just in case Microsoft decides to delete the ad, here's a screen shot for proof. Now, what do you think Microsoft hopes to achieve by integrating instant messaging into social networks? Personally, I'm struggling a bit to find the usefulness. Considering many companies utilize Communicator for their instant messaging needs and block social networking avenues from employee usage, does Microsoft really have a large enough market pinned to follow through with something like this? Let me know your thoughts in comments below!

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