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xobni search I have been looking at a new software add-on package for Microsoft Outlook called Xobni (Inbox spelled backwards). I was directed to it by Viral's blog and it is quite interesting. It is in by-invitation beta right now, click on the badge in my sidebar to get more information and sign up (disclosure: clicks get you quicker beta product access).

Some of the features the product provides are :

"Lightning" fast email search (I put lightning fast in quotes as I have not had a chance to try the product. Once I get a beta invite I will provide a more in-depth preview.) Emails and contacts appear as you type.

Email analytics - graphic rich stats on the people you email include message counts, frequency, dates of conversations, contact information and quick links. Telephone numbers are extracted from emails and associated with senders "contacts."

Navigate your Inbox by people - leverage the "social" aspects of email and associate conversations and people rather than looking at individual messages and entries. Also chart's the relationships between people and their emails.

Intelligent assistant automatically finds open slots in your schedule when arranging meetings.

Historical attachments are made available on a per-contact basis in the sidebar without searching for the specific email they are attached to. Hover over the attachment to see the associated email.

Overall Xobni shows a lot of promise as an extension to Outlook. I can see myself leveraging a lot of these new features, especially the enhanced threaded conversations. This is something that is lacking in the current version of Outlook.

Some of the more intelligent association of data concepts are missing from Outlook too and I don’t understand why they were never included. The simplistic phone number harvesting and association is big winner that can be implemented with little effort. Other companies have added things like calendar previews when hovering over a date in an email so you can reconcile your availability on the fly.

I wont get too optimistic however, until I can actually get some hands-on experience with the beta. Stay tuned.


Posted on Monday, February 18, 2008 11:04 AM Office | Back to top

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