Xobni Pro Blends Xobni Plus, BlackBerry App

Microsoft Outlook in-box message management provider Xobni has rolled its core products into one big enterprise suite: Xobni Pro. It costs $7.99 a month.

Xobni, one of the better in-box management tools in the market for Microsoft's Outlook e-mail program, is replacing its Xobni Plus offering with a new bundle called Xobni Pro, eWEEK has learned.

Xobni for Outlook e-mail makes it easier for users to search conversations and threads. The plug-in also let users connect with contacts through Facebook and LinkedIn.

The tool is useful at a time when Outlook in-boxes have grown cluttered with e-mail messages and contacts. Microsoft offers the Outlook Social Connector, but it hardly provides the same efficiencies Xobni has cultivated since its launch in 2008.

To wit, Xobni Pro is a premium product that bundles the Xobni Pro for Outlook plug-in, the Xobni Pro for BlackBerry mobile app and Xobni Cloud, which syncs Xobni contacts across Outlook and BlackBerry, into one e-mail tool for corporate Outlook users who need to access their messages anywhere they go.

"Pro is like the Xobni platinum card. ... It gives you access to all the privileges of membership," said Xobni CEO Jeff Bonforte in an e-mail to Xobni Plus users.

eWEEK tested Xobni Plus, which includes an advanced button under the search bar to let users search for messages from contacts through their in-box, including from any attachments. The product, which cost $29.95 for a perpetual license, proved efficient and reliable, blowing away Outlook 2007's search capabilities.

Those capabilities and more will exist in Xobni Pro, which will back up Xobni contacts for any future Outlook and BlackBerry iterations from the company.

Xobni Pro includes all the features from Plus, along with contact export capability, spam rescue alerts and automatic recovery, and the ability to access Xobni Pro from multiple PCs.

To entice users to upgrade to Xobni Pro, Xobni Plus customers can buy one year of Xobni Pro for less than $1.99 per month (or around $24 a year), a 75 percent discount off the standing Pro monthly rate of $7.99 ($96 total per year).

There are some caveats. Xobni Plus will always work on users' current version of Xobni for Outlook. However, that changes once users install the newer Xobni for Outlook 2.0.

Xobni's upgrades come more than a week after Research In Motion acquired contact management application Gist.