Update Sept. 15 5:40 p.m.: Xiant now available for sale at www.xiant.com.
Earlier June 22:
This is a product that Allen thought up himself, as opposed to start-ups that his investment company Vulcan Technologies has invested in. Allen, who uses Microsoft Outlook, was looking for a way to manage the flood of e-mail he receives and asked his developers to come up with a program to fix it. The product worked so well that he decided to make it a commercial product.
A free test version of the software, the beta, is available at www.xiant.com, and they expect to begin selling the program in 60 days for about $39, the same price as competing software.
Automatic e-mail filing now requires writing rules in Outlook. Xiant Filer makes filing suggestions, said David Postman, spokesman for Xiant.
“I am not a very organized guy, and I’ve never been good about keeping my inbox clean. I just wait until I have a whole day with nothing to do and I just go through and hit delete delete delete and I’m clicking and dragging,” Postman said. “This is really cool, you just right-click and it suggests where it thinks you might want to file it. The more you do it, the more it learns those things.”
The company is working on a version for Blackberry mobile devices. Postman did not know whether the company would make similar versions for Apple’s iPhone or Google’s Android mobile operating system.
Postman said to expect other software products from Xiant, including one that makes it faster to transfer large digital files over the Internet.
DrumCore is another software program developed for Allen and later commercialized because he wanted to lay a rhythm track when playing the guitar.
(2008 Photo of Paul Allen: Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times)