Xobni and the Outlook Social Connector

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.

12 Responses to “Xobni and the Outlook Social Connector”

  1. 1 Brant Gurganus November 19, 2009 at 12:22 am

    I certainly thought of Xobni when I saw the social connector announcement. I later saw Xobni or someone claiming to represent Xobni leaving a comment there.

    I’d hope that Xobni is ahead of the game and releases versions that work in the 2010 betas instead of just waiting until the release.

  2. 2 Jim November 20, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Does Xobni support the 2010 beta?

  3. 3 Matt Brezina November 20, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Hi Jim – we will support the general availability Outlook 2010 when it launches next year. We’ve been working on the 2010 beta, and now that it has settled into a more or less final form, we will start supporting Outlook 2010 in beta soon. We will announce it here and on our forums when people can start using it.

  4. 4 gmmazza November 24, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Hi, I totally second xobni in outlook 2010, just can you make xobni to live not just in a column, but a entire section in the left bar? Is a little cramped in that column to read emails there.
    AND PLEASE!!!! make the contacts data common, or at least synched with outlook standards, an irritating thing that I leaned to live with.
    Beside of that, I’m a very happy, and advocate of xobni plus user.
    I’m confident that you will keep a few steps ahead of the social connector in terms of innovation. I just expect xobni and social connector be friends, not just competitors in my screen (synergy).

  5. 5 Bart December 1, 2009 at 4:32 am

    I loved Xobni until it upgraded itself to the latest release AND TOOK AWAY FUNCTIONALITY!. I have never seen this done before. And here I was promoting its use across the enterprise. Fortunately Microsoft Outlook will provide the same functionality in the near future! You’ve lost a customer and advocate.

  6. 6 Matt Brezina December 1, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Bart – we didn’t take away functionality for existing free users. We’ve actually been steadily increasing functionality. Please drop another comment here on the blog with your email address so that I can directly follow-up with you. It is even possible that you saw a bug. We’d love to have you back on board.

    All the best,

  7. 7 Mark Olson December 3, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I have been using the free version of xobni for a year or two, but I have just deleted it and will never use it again. My Exchange email address auto-complete worked just fine until your most recent update (which installed by itself without my permission, by the way). Now, Exchange can’t auto-complete at all because your program is holding it hostage. I now get ZERO auto-complete suggestions from Exchange. Xobni, meanwhile, has a long list of them and will kindly let me use them if I only pay a ransom of $29.95!

    So long.

  8. 8 Wiechardt Brummer December 7, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Hi Matt

    I have been a Xobni user and a promoter of your software for a long time now but today I am truly and utterly disgusted by the fact that Xobni auto-upgrade to the latest version and in doing so it LOST FUNCTIONALITY!!!

    Your reply to Bart’s comment: “Bart – we didn’t take away functionality for existing free users. We’ve actually been steadily increasing functionality” is a blatant lie. The first versions of Xobni allowed for multiple PST files to be searched (I still have the Xobni install file on my machine that allows this functionality) and with the latest release you want me to pay for the functionality to scan multiple PST files!!!

    You have lost a loyal fan and promoter of your software and I cannot wait for Outlook 2010!!!!


  9. 9 Matt Brezina December 7, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Wiechardt – we grandfathered all existing users from the beta days to not have restrictions on the number of PSTs indexed. We spent valuable engineering time doing so. So, “we didn’t take away functionality for existing free users” was indeed a statement of fact. If you were a user of Xobni before Xobni Plus was released, you should not have run into any PST restrictions. If you did, please contact our support team and we’ll fix it.

  10. 10 Scaune de birou April 10, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Microsoft feels that is loosing share-market…

  11. 11 John May 19, 2010 at 9:48 pm


    I’ll be honest… I’ve been using Xobni succesfully for the last year and have been very happy with the product, but I would like to see a Myspace extension. Outlook Social and some of the competitors let us have it… but I want to stick to using Xobni.

    I know, I know the ballyhoo about Myspace being the dying dinosaur of yesteryear. For those of us in the entertainment realm, Myspace is still relevant in analytics because many bands and comedians still communicate to their bases via Myspace Music or Myspace Comedy pages. Facebook and Twitter haven’t yet embraced the full multimedia experience. So give your friends in corporate entertainment a break and let us have a Myspace option.

  1. 1 The public beta of Office 2010 is finally here – frankps Trackback on November 19, 2009 at 5:18 am

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