Two years ago, when we introduced you to Xobni, an email inbox and search software company, they were plugging into Microsoft Outlook.

Now, they are also using the Gmail contextual gadgets API to allow developers to build Gmail widgets for Outlook.

Improving Outlook with Google Gadgets

Slightly obsessed with improving Outlook, Xobni saw Gmail’s platform as the perfect opportunity to bring it to one of the most used email platforms. Capitalizing on the simplicity and power of contextual gadgets, the San Francisco-based startup released its Xobni for Outlook Developer Preview that allows any developer to test their Gmail contextual gadgets in Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010 (32-bit and 64-bit).

Developers will be the first to have access to use and test Xobni’s new platform. The goal is to bring these new gadgets to users, which will appear in Outlook via a horizontal bar at the bottom of messages, which easily expands or contracts, as needed. The gadgets can also be triggered off of any contextual information within the email.

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Gadgets will appear in Outlook via a horizontal bar at the bottom of messages,

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Outlook users with Xobni installed on their systems will be get be able to watch YouTube clips, Yelp reviews and Flickr photos from within Outlook whenever they receive links to those sites

Outlook users with Xobni installed on their systems will be get be able to watch YouTube clips, Yelp reviews and Flickr photos from within Outlook whenever they receive links to those sites. The new software can also work in tandem with their Xobni sidebar in Outlook, which currently offers efficient search for information and contacts in email.

Not only does this help simplify access for Outlook users, it also gives Google access to Microsoft users. Over the next few weeks, Xobni will be working closely with developers to finalize the details for distribution, monetization and placement of these gadgets.