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Xobni integrates inbox with networking

Application elevates Outlook e-mail to communications control center

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Xobni is an e-mail and social networking mashup, a sort of master control center for managing contacts and communications. And while the freely downloadable Xobni application -- its name is "inbox" spelled backwards -- is still in its infancy, it's no surprise to find real estate professionals among its early adopters. Networking is a critical component of the real estate trade, and many agents have latched on to online networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook -- Xobni integrates information from both of these networks.The company was launched by founders Adam Smith and Matt Brezina in mid-2006, and has attracted millions in venture funding as well as praise from Bill Gates, who referred to Xobni as "the next generation of social networking" while demonstrating the product to a group of developers in early 2008. The TechCrunch blog in April reported on a rumored deal in the works by Microsoft to acquire Xobni, though no such deal has been announce...