When Xobni was formed in 2006 by two graduate students, it sought to improve, enhance and otherwise fix Microsoft Outlook.
Now, it's taking its efforts even further with a new tool that plugs into Outlook. Their software, free and downloadable, indexes all the e-mail in Outlook and makes those messages easily searchable and readily available.
A well-anticipated cure to the most bemoaned ailment afflicting the world's most popular e-mail tool: prolonged use makes it slower and harder to search for e-mail addresses and phone numbers.
Similar to other email index-and-search programs, Xobni (Inbox spelled backwards! And pronounced zob-nee), an "intelligent filter" also offers additional special features. It is able to extract phone numbers it thinks are associated with the sender and interpret the social relationships between people who are sending messages to each other (identifying those who are carbon copied, etc)
Of course innovation like this doesn't go unnoticed or unfunded. Xobni has benefited from investments by Vinod Khosla, a Sun Microsystems co-founder, and Niklas Zennstrom, one of the creators of Skype, and has been in negotiations with Microsoft.
With the recent addition of former Yahoo vice president as chief executive, Xobni looks forward with loftier ambitions, including an expansion to various e-mail programs, like Yahoo Mail, Gmail and Microsoft’s Hotmail, as well as social networks like Facebook and Linkedin.
Ultimately, Xobni is focused on "relationships that exist in multiple inboxes" and improving overall online communications. Looking beyond Outlook is smart as other web-based email programs increase their functionality and usability and will be sure to benefit from the Xobni's technology and vision.