Xobni is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time. I was having a discussion with some friends over the weekend where one of them felt like Gmail’s conversation structure was one of the best things to happen to email. I’m an avid user of both Gmail and Outlook and tend to like them both for very different reasons. Gmail keeps long conversations with many people in a very compact manner. Outlook does a better job integrating your calendar and email into one desktop platform where you can look at historical email easily.
I’ve always felt that the search functionality with Outlook is something to be asked for. Xobni, however, takes search to a new level by making it a contact based search. They predicate there product on the fact that you tend to contact certain people more frequently than others and at certain times of the day. As a result, they will profile each of your users with your conversations threaded and attachments shown chronologically.
In the three days that I’ve used the product, I’ve found it to increase my productivity quite a bit at work. I’ve used it almost as a file exchange system where I search for documents within my email. Ultimately, I think people are using email more for data storage (especially with GMail). Xobni provides a clear and unique way to organize it. Here is a screenshot of the product below. It lives just to the right of your outlook application for easy search use. It also doesn’t completely eat up your CPU usage like other indexing software (cough…google…cough).
FYI – bloggers all over the internet have been raving about this product. Xobni was offered $20 million dollars from Microsoft but decided to walk away at the 11th hour because they felt as though the team would just become another function of Outlook (which it would). Great move by the Xobni team as they have built a social framework around email. With this framework, they have the ability to create a social utility integrating chat, file sharing across email platforms. Instead of having to go to a separate domain to access your files, you can simply do it through your email. A user tends to be on email almost 50% of the time they are online and Xobni’s cloud structure can increase that usage and bring services to your fingertips.
Just my $.02…