Xobni's Secret Project: Merge Outlook With Yahoo Mail

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xobni_logo.pngE-mail startup Xobni may or may not be in acquisition talks with Microsoft (they say no), but they do have a nifty project up their sleeves that Microsoft would be interested in, especially if its proposed Yahoo deal ever goes through. Xobni makes a plug-in that super-charges Microsoft’s Outlook e-mail software by organizing conversations and people in ways that are much easier to find them. It also shows users their social network based on who they email the most.

xobni-sidebar.pngNow the company has a working prototype that works with the No. 2 most-used e-mail on the planet: Yahoo Mail. The Yahoo Mail product has not been released yet, and is not even in beta. It is just a working demo on Internet Explorer at this point. (First screen shot below). Every time you click on an email inside Yahoo Mail, a sidebar on the right shows you a graph of total emails you’ve received that day, how many you’ve received or sent to that particular person in the past, as well as links to previous conversations and files you’ve exchanged with that person through email. It also shows you any other contacts that might be connected to that person because they were CCed on a previous email.

But not only does Xobni work in Yahoo Mail, it also integrates with Outlook. So in that Xobni pane under “conversations”, you can also see any previous emails that you had with that contact in Outlook (assuming you have the Xobni plug-in for Outlook installed). Similarly, conversations with that contact that happened on Yahoo are visible in the Xobni sidebar inside Outlook as well (second screen shot below). Xobni constantly syncs Yahoo Mail and Outlook contacts, and you can see both of them in one view on the Web (third screen shot below). And, this is the nice part, you can search both Yahoo and Outlook e-mails using the Xobni search box, even from within the browser.

No word on when this might actually launch, but it makes sense for Xobni to move beyond Outlook. The fact that it is looking to Yahoo first is also no surprise, since new CEO Jeff Bonforte (personal friend alert) used to head up the IM group at Yahoo under Brad Garlinghouse. And, should anyone from Microsoft stop by the Xobni offices, well, that’s the kind of demo that gets deals done. Outlook-Yahoo Mail integration would no doubt be high on any post-merger check-list. And it looks like Xobni already has a headstart on it.

Xobni is still in private beta. If you want to try it (for Outlook only), the first 200 people to register here with the code “techcrunch200″ will get in.

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