The move appears to be in order allow those that don’t use Google’s web interface as their primary email client to schedule meetings from Outlook directly, rather than jumping into Google Calendar to schedule calls. It also aims to help those that have rolled out the Chromebox to schedule meetings using the devices directly from their inbox.
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The Hangouts extension for Outlook doesn’t appear to support chat, instead opting to just help these users schedule video meetings on the service much easier. The integration is similar to that of Microsoft’s Lync product, which allows Outlook users to add video calls directly to calendar appointments.
Google Hangouts for Outlook can be downloaded here.
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