As some of you may have seen, Microsoft announced today that they are integrating some social networking features into Outlook 2010. Our favorite tweet of the day was, “Dear Microsoft, we already have Xobni.” (via @_aishaf) 😉
This wasn’t a surprise to us. We have a close working relationship with the Outlook team at Microsoft, and have since the early days of Xobni. And they’ve been watching us too. Bill Gates himself called Xobni “the future of social networking” at the Microsoft Office Developer Conference last year.
In addition, we’ve been selected as part of Microsoft’s BizSpark One program, an invite-only program to help accelerate the growth of high potential startups chosen by Microsoft. We have shown that bringing in social elements into the inbox is very powerful, so this announcement seems like an obvious step by Microsoft to bring Outlook up to speed – kind of.
After 3 years of your feedback (thank you, beloved users) and 3 million downloads, Xobni already provides all of the social stuff you will be able to do with Microsoft Social Connector – and much much more. And even more importantly, we aren’t going to stop innovating. We will mention that the product they are scheduled to launch next year doesn’t have improved search functionality (key Xobni feature), won’t allow users to interact with social networking sites, no automatic phone number extraction, no shared network information, no Xobni Rank, which brings the most important emails and people to the top and many more Xobni features you’ve come to love.
We are also bringing Xobni’s innovation to new areas. There is a lot of excitement out there for our upcoming Blackberry product. We want to get this in your hands as soon as possible. And just yesterday we launched our Salesforce Extension. We are getting a lot of visitors at our Dreamforce booth sharing their excitement for Xobni’s Salesforce Extension.
Microsoft is a massive company that has to serve 500+ million Outlook users with each new
release. Our nimble 30-person startup is happy focusing on those Outlook users that live in email and need a companion like Xobni to make their work day more bearable. We’re excited that Microsoft will bring more awareness to the possibilities of turning email on its side – and making it about relationships again. We’ve been at it for over three years, and there is a lot more to come.