New Platform Allows Developers an Easy Path to Microsoft Outlook Users; Xobni Developer Preview Available Today
SAN FRANCISCO, May 18 /PRNewswire/ — Xobni, the popular Microsoft Outlook search and relationship add-in, today announced a developer preview of a new platform that lets Gmail(TM) contextual gadgets developers insert Google gadgets inside Microsoft Outlook. Interested developers can visit Xobni’s developer site at http://xobni.com/developer for more information and for a developer build of Xobni.
“We know better than most the challenges of developing in Outlook. So when we saw the simplicity and power of Google’s new contextual gadget platform, we knew we had to bring it to Outlook,” said Jeff Bonforte, CEO of Xobni. “Gmail’s new contextual gadgets platform provides a great alternative for developers looking to reach Outlook’s 600 million users, particularly for those with more experience in web development versus writing desktop software.”
This announcement falls on the heels of Google’s release of Gmail contextual gadgets for developers today. Xobni will allow developers who create Gmail contextual gadgets to also run their gadgets inside Microsoft Outlook (Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010 32-bit and 64-bit) via Xobni’s new platform, without having to develop a separate gadget specifically for Outlook. This unified platform will extend the potential market for developers to include the 600 million Outlook users.
Initially, only developers will have access to use and test Xobni’s new platform. Once deployed to users, these new gadgets will appear via an additional Xobni horizontal bar at the bottom of Outlook email messages and preview pane, which easily expands or contracts, as needed. This is in addition to the current Xobni sidebar in Outlook, that offers lightning-fast search for information and contacts in email.
“Gmail contextual gadgets are built atop open standards for rendering gadgets,” said Don Dodge, developer advocate at Google. “We are excited that partners like Xobni are leveraging these standards to deploy contextually relevant gadgets in other containers like Outlook.”
To learn about and experiment with Gmail contextual gadgets, Xobni developed the Hoover’s company information gadget for Gmail users. It identifies company email addresses and presents the relevant Hoover’s company information such as revenue, size and location to help give context into the people and the information shared in email.
“Google’s new platform is very straightforward. In fact, we wrote our first gadget, Hoover’s contextual gadget for Gmail, in just a couple days. We are excited to bring a full Xobni experience to Gmail in the near future,” said Frank Cort, vice president of engineering at Xobni. “But we are even more excited about opening Outlook to Gmail’s Contextual Gadgets. We suspect developers will find very creative ways to enhance both Gmail and Outlook with this unified platform.”
For more information on Xobni’s new developer platform, visit http://xobni.com/developer.
Xobni (“inbox” spelled backwards) is a San Francisco startup that offers a better way to manage and search contacts and email through Outlook and on the BlackBerry. Xobni combines individual exchanges and social media content (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) to give users a complete view of all their contacts in one place. Xobni’s contact management products offer lightning-fast email search and organization for the inbox, as well as innovative and comprehensive address book for the mobile phone. The Xobni technology emerged from a graduate project at MIT in 2006, and has been downloaded over 5 million times since its public launch in May 2008. Xobni’s first mobile product was developed for the BlackBerry and launched in March 2010. Xobni is funded by Khosla Ventures, RRE Ventures, Cisco Systems, BlackBerry Partners Fund, First Round Capital and others. For more information, visit xobni.com (for English) or xobni.de (for German).
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