Ed. note: This belongs to a series of posts on how numerous websites and services are integrating LinkedIn functionality. This post is from Jeff Kunins, group program manager on Windows Live, where he talks about the recent LinkedIn integration with Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live suite of products.

We’re pleased to announce, that starting today you can connect Messenger and your Windows Live profile to LinkedIn. LinkedIn features in Hotmail will start to roll out today and over the course of the next 3 weeks, depending on your location.

We love LinkedIn’s tag line, “Relationships Matter,” because at Windows Live, our goal is to create great experiences that keep you connected with the people who matter most.

With over 75 million professionals in over 200 countries and a new user joining approximately every second, LinkedIn is clearly a leader in professional social networking that we’re excited to partner with. There are four key areas we’re focused on in our deep integration with LinkedIn:

  • Keeping your contact list organized with auto contact linking across Hotmail, Messenger and the rest of Windows Live
  • Helping you use Messenger to keep up with what your LinkedIn contacts are doing.
  • Making it simple to share updates from Messenger to your LinkedIn contacts.
  • Helping your Messenger friends keep up with what you are doing on LinkedIn.

Keeping your contact lists synced across email, messenger and Windows Live

We recognize how tedious it is to manually clean up duplicate contacts in your contact list, but it’s important that you have easy access to the right contact information for the right situation. For example, when you send a work-related email, you may use a different email address than when you send a personal note to the same person.

When you make the LinkedIn connection with Windows Live, your LinkedIn contacts are automatically linked to the same contact you already have stored in Windows Live, so that you have one record with the combined set of information. Now you can compose and send email to your LinkedIn contacts right from Hotmail.

Having your LinkedIn contacts connected to Windows Live doesn’t end with just email, however. Your LinkedIn contacts are available to you across Windows Live, including the Photo Gallery. You probably wouldn’t think to associate photos with your LinkedIn activities, but with people tagging in Photo Gallery, for example, you could tag a photo of someone you saw at a conference, because it’s always helpful to put a face to a name.

Use Messenger to see what your LinkedIn contacts are doing

When you’ve connected LinkedIn with Messenger, news from your colleagues will be added to your Messenger social updates. Just like with your existing Messenger, Facebook, and MySpace friends, you can choose to make any LinkedIn contact a favorite so their updates get prioritized in Messenger highlights.

Here’s an example:

…and of course, it works on your mobile devices such as the iPhone as well:

And, when you comment on social updates, your comments post right back to LinkedIn. This is consistent across the web and iPhone Messenger app as well, so you’re always connected, even while on the go.

Update your status across your networks

We also make it easy for you to use Messenger and the rest of Windows Live to automatically show your LinkedIn contacts what you’re doing and sharing, even if they don’t use Windows Live. If you choose to have your Windows Live activities shared out to LinkedIn, then when you update your status in Messenger or Hotmail, or upload photos and documents that you’ve set permissions to Everyone or Friends for in SkyDrive , these updates are posted to LinkedIn:

Of course, you have complete control over which features you want to connect. Just select the features you want:

Let your Messenger friends see what you are doing on LinkedIn

Finally, you can easily choose to have your LinkedIn activities (like status updates and job changes—always interesting information from LinkedIn contacts) shared with your Messenger friends, even if they don’t happen to use LinkedIn yet.

We hope you’ll enjoy the new LinkedIn integration, and we look forward to continuing to partner with leading services across the Internet. Here’s a quick overview from Brandon Duncan who worked with us on the integration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1oRssPvdDc&feature=player_embedded]