Since November 2008, apart from our commercial products, we have been working on a new freeware for Microsoft Outlook. The project is called Giegieo, and yes we know that the name is vague and hard to pronounce for an English speaking person. This is because the target user is Polish for the application will be used to merge the most widely used mail client worldwide ?Microsoft Outlook? with the most popular Polish instant messenger Gadu-Gadu. Apart from messaging, its users can make phone calls, text to mobiles, send files, images and listen to radio stations to give a few examples, which renders Gadu-Gadu an equivalent of the well-known Skype messenger.
Giegieo adds a toolbar to Microsoft Outlook with which the users may conveniently initiate conversations with people from the Contacts folder if their status in the messenger is online. No need to switch view and search for the right people in the messenger.
Apart from striking up conversations, the Giegieo toolbar enables looking up details of your contacts? statuses such as the descriptions they publish. This may reveal for example the music our contacts are listening to (if they happen to be using the Winamp plugin) or convey other useful information. The toolbar and a quick chat button are available in the Contacts folder?
… as well as when viewing a particular contacts item:
The users of Giegieo may also enable a special footer added to all outgoing mail. The footer provides the current online/offline status of the sender so that the recipients know whether the sender can be reached at once. A conversation with the sender can be started by simply clicking on the footer with a mouse button.
Another highlight of the program is the extra ribbon added to both incoming and sent mail items and located at the bottom of the message. Thanks to this ribbon not only will a user be able to start a conversation with the sender of the message but also with all the parties to a conversation in the case of multiple recipients. Why waste time composing emails to follow up on the received messages in Outlook? By using the messenger instead you can be sure your message will reach your contacts instantly if you see them online. And it is so much easier when available directly from Outlook. For offline contacts, messages can be left ? they will be delivered once the user logs in to the messenger.
In order to merge Microsoft Outlook with the messenger, the application needs a sleek import tool. The built-in import utility will merge the messenger?s contacts with those already present in Outlook, or it can be configured to add the unfound ones as new.
Although the idea of integrating Microsoft Outlook with a popular messenger is not new (it was, for example, accomplished by Skype Team), the project represented some challenge. We are only too happy to have successfully handled it. The program is currently available in its Beta version. The release is roughly planned for the end of January.