I’m not sure if this is new to Outlook 2007 or not, but I’ve come across a really cool feature that I wanted to share.
If you open a contact in Outlook 2007, there is a placeholder for a photo for the contact. Clicking on the placeholder allows you to browse your computer for the image file that you want to use. So far … perhaps not very impressive but it gets better than that.
If the contact has an email address defined, and you receive an email with a matching email address, the contact’s picture is displayed in the top right-hand corner of the Reading Pane. I think this is a really neat feature – it starts to humanise the content more as you can visually associate the email with the person who sent it.
Furthermore, if you’ve got a Windows Mobile 6 device that synchronises with your copy of Outlook, the photo gets synchronised AS WELL and the device then uses that if you receive a call from a phone number associated with the contact.
That is a really neat level of integration going on there.
I wish, though, that there was a way to handle this at the GAL level in Exchange, i.e. define photos to be associated with users and contacts in the GAL. That way, I could push that association out to all the corporate users rather than each individual having to set it up.