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Xobni which is inbox spelled backwards is an absolutely terrific plug in for Microsoft Outlook. It indexes all of your e-mail and all of your contacts and relates all e-mails to individual contacts with other e-mails to those contacts as well as other people who are copied on to those e-mails. It provides analysis of number of e-mails sent to.


It has been endorsed by no less than Bill Gates himself, who claims that it's a wonderful tool. Any time you use it, it is obvious that it has terrific analysis, provides great insight, and boy does it have a beautiful website.

There is in fact only one problem: it doesn't work, which is always an interesting thing with technology, because the fact is The metadata that Xobni collects provides an incredibly rich view of related conversations and related people and the fast indexing is faster than built-in search in Outlook, in finding specific people for contact information or other information about conversations with people.

So how can it then not work when it works?  Well if you have more than one inbox open in your Outlook profile, Xobni reduces the responsiveness of outlook to a crawl.  Adding 15 seconds to every click, between an email, or to the calendar or between contacts means that it literally takes half a minute to go through two emails.  This means that without typing a single word you can only read 2 emails a minute (assuming 15 seconds to read).  If you've ever tried to get a hold of the 30 emails that came in during lunch before your 1pm meeting you know that Xobni might as well just erase Outlook - the effect on usability would be the same.