Facebook to use Microsoft’s Outlook Web App for Email service?

By Tom Warren, on 13th Nov 10 3:10 am with 6 Comments

TechCrunch has discovered that Facebook’s mail.thefacebook.com domain currently points to an Outlook Web App login prompt.

The discovery is timely as Facebook is rumored to be preparing an Email service for its 500 million users. Winrumors reported earlier that Microsoft will be supplying Office Web Apps for use on Facebook. Insiders also suggested that the partnership could be further reaching with Exchange ActiveSync support.

Microsoft and Facebook have been partnering on a number of technologies recently. The software giant has a long standing advertising partnership that saw it invest a $240 million equity stake in Facebook back in 2007. In October Facebook announced a partnership with Microsoft’s Bing search engine to provide social integration. Users of Bing now see social powered search results that incorporate information that their friends have liked on Facebook. Microsoft and Facebook also revealed Docs.com earlier this year. The site is built on a stripped down version of Microsoft’s Office 2010 Web Apps platform. The service can be used to share Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents with Facebook friends.

Facebook appears to have also taken control of fb.com which could be the domain for its email service. It’s not yet clear whether Facebook will use Outlook Web Apps for all 500 million users or whether the service is enabled just for Facebook staff. All will become clear on Monday when Facebook hold a special press event to announce its Email plans.

Update: TechCrunch have confirmed that this is employee email. Microsoft is still expected to supply Office Web Apps for Facebook’s Email service.

  • http://chris.charabaruk.com Chris Charabaruk

    I’ve not cared about what Facebook’s up to for a while now, but this just got me interested again.

    • Tom W

      Me too, really hope they offer this. Could be a revolution in webmail :)

    • http://chris.charabaruk.com Chris Charabaruk

      Techcrunch is now reporting that it’s just the interface to the employee mail service, implying that Facebook Mail isn’t going to be OWA-based but not saying it outright. Shame.

  • http://twitter.com/quentez Quentin CALVEZ

    When looking at that website certificate, you can see it’s only for a bunch of classic Exchange 2010 servers. There’s no way it’s the new FB email service. It’s just for employees. And BTW, I don’t think that Microsoft could scale up Exchange to 500 million users while it’s current cloud offering (Exchange Online / Exchange 365 ) has not even 10 percent of that amount.

    • Bernhard

      What do u think what hotmail.com is? ;)

    • NotSoSlowFastWaitHuh

      um Bernhardy … hotmail is a very poor use of ONLY Exchange ActiveSync 2.5. It is NOT fully Microsoft Exchange based. I’d advise all hotmail users looking for better to read the finer details on what the Windows Live team actually did when they turned on EAS for Windows Live Hotmail. They effectively made it interesting only for those for those eunichs who don’t care about HTML email on a mobile client. In addition, users still need the Microsoft Outlook Hotmail Connector add-on just to get their emails in desktop Outlook. For a company that owns a whole email ecosystem (service, delivery protocol, protocol client, etc.), this is unacceptable