Thursday, May 08, 2008

xobni for MS Outlook

For the record, Thunderbird (and the mozilla email family - netscape communicator) has been my primary email application of choice for a long time (close to 9+ years now).

After having said that, I hate to have to admit that I'm also using Outlook :) (Hate is actually too strong a word, nonetheless ...)

Recently, I found an "interesting" tool for outlook called xobni (that's "inbox" reversed).

I've been running it for a few days now and certainly find it convenient 'cos it gives me all of the following in a handy place along with the current email I'm reading
* contact information (mobile/office/home/main/...) of sender of email that I'm reading,
* conversations (almost as in gmail) with that sender,
* email attachments that I'd exchange with that sender, etc.

There were a couple of crashes at the beginning when it first began indexing my email, but steady after that.

The one "bug" that bothers me is that profile information of sender of email I received before installation of this software is not correct, i.e, for all email I'd received before I installed this software the profile information of sender matching the email I'm reading is incorrect. It shows information pertaining to some random user instead of the actual sender of that particular email.

I've written about this to the product support team, they've acknowledged the problem, but interestingly closed the case saying that it needs to be solved !

Here's more of what I'd written to them for those interested in the other aspects as well.

** I observed that this happens only for email that has been indexed
prior to xobni being installed.

Profiles are not being show correctly for my old email that was
indexed. However, ever since xobni was installed and new email started
flowing in, the profiles shown are according to the correct sender
information.

So, it looks like there's some problem matching older email (email
prior to xobni's installation) and profile information.

** On a different note, if the problem does exist and it's something
you are working on, whatz the point in "closing" the case ? Shouldn't
the case remain "open" till resolution of the problem ? Also, if the
case is closed without resolving the problem, how will I ever get an
update on whether my problem was actually resolved in a future update
? I know that there may be 100s of users who are reporting the same
problem, but it still doesn't usually qualify for "closing" the case,
IMHO. Just trying to understand how your process works.

** Would love to know how end users can track their case information
online. Some on the lines of "provide you case-id to find out current
status of the request".

** When I submitted the error report / support request, I was kinda
informed that I'd get a notification / reply. However, I didn't get an
automated response nor immediate acknowledgment. It indeed made me
wonder if the system had registered my request. I think you should
provide an automated reply with the case-id. Or at least provide an
option to Cc the email that (s)he is putting up on the website. That
way, if for some reason the request doesn't get registered, the user
doesn't have to retype everything they put up in the first place.

** And, you certainly have a very interesting product here ! Kudos to
what you've done ! Wondering how the business model will work going
forward once free beta is over. How do you plan to monetize xobni and
how will beta users be benefited by their participation ? Will there
be discounts, free upgrades, ad based free installs, ... etc ?

Would love to hear from you.

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