In my last post, I wrote about how browser extensions can be one of the fastest paths to ubiquity for a new software.
For example, the Chrome extension we built displays information from our software directly inside of Gmail’s HTML — creating an experience that enables our customers to use our software without changing anything about their existing workflow. However, our extension only supports customers that use Chrome — specifically, Gmail on Chrome. While Gmail on Chrome is a popular email choice among our customers, a large percentage of our customer base emails with Outlook. This year, we’re expanding our products to include an Outlook365 add in.
I’ve come to understand that many software teams that choose to build VSTO products are part of an in-house IT team that has direct control over installing their solutions via .exe files across all of the Windows machines where they’re needed. Without the ability to physically access our customer’s computers to run an install file, we could hypothetically distribute our VSTO product by hosting a 1-click installer button somewhere online, mailing our customers a CD with the install file (the documentation really did recommend this), or publishing updates through the Windows Installer.
If you’d like to try out the 4Degrees Outlook add in that’s mentioned in this article, you download it for free from the Microsoft AppSource store.