LinkedIn Connected Service makes an appearance – preparing for launch soon?

For those of you on the Wave 4 beta of Windows Live Messenger, if you’re lucky you might’ve noticed something different today – an icon to connect LinkedIn to your Windows Live service. If you scroll all the way down from your social updates pane, you might see this:

LinkedIn option in Messenger

Clicking on LinkedIn brings you to a pop-up window that allow you to select what you’d like to connect or share between the two services, despite it being half-finished:

Connect LinkedIn to Windows Live

At least the authentication interface on LinkedIn’s side seems complete:

LinkedIn Authentication

We weren’t able to successfully connect to the LinkedIn service yet, however one of our readers Joe B. (thanks for the tip!) was able to get the icon showing on the “Connected to” list, as shown below:

Connected to icon

We were told that Joe wasn’t able to see any LinkedIn updates on his Messenger social feed either, but judging by the options in the above screenshots, and comparing it to what you could do with Facebook and MySpace, it seems like you’d be able to:

  • View your LinkedIn contacts within your Messenger contact list (with contacts de-duplication), as well as their social updates within the Messenger social feed
  • Share your LinkedIn updates with your Windows Live friends
  • Publish your Windows Live status updates to LinkedIn.

It seems like Microsoft is getting ready for the launch of the LinkedIn connected service. After all, we are probably weeks away from the Windows Live Essentials 2011 final launch anyways, and hopefully we’d be able to get the LinkedIn connected service by that time!