Got a sad email from Rob today. Actually, the email was pretty straightforward and stoic, but the news was said (and I could tell he was crying when he pasted the link). Anyway, at the end of the year, Agilix is discontinuing their all-encompassing note and scheduling application for Tablet PCs, GoBinder. Per their website:
Beginning January 1, 2010, Agilix will no longer sell nor support the Agilix GoBinder product line, including GoBinder Lite, GoBinder 2005 and GoBinder 2006. Effective immediately we will no longer provide support for GoBinder Lite and GoBinder 2005. However, Agilix will continue to sell and support GoBinder 2006 until December 31, 2009.
GoBinder started with great promise as the second place winner in Microsoft’s “Think in Ink” contest. But as the Tablet PC form factor never provided that tide that raises all ships, GoBinder was left to flounder and is now being allowed to sink. The great irony, of course, is that its happening as the buzz around tablets is reaching a new peak. Just wish that hype was seeping over to the Tablet PCs and their wonderful software that have been available for years.
12/29/2009 at 2:48 pm
quite sad indeed. GoBinder and TabletPlanner were my favorite notetaking apps. Agilix had a fantastic SDK that many developers used to enhance their applications: Ink Blog Plugin, Tablet Enhancements for Outlook, and more.
The reason why the hype isn’t porting over to Tablet PCs is because Microsoft and their OEM / ISV partners are eerily silent. Instead of capitalizing on the momentum, they are saying nothing and consequently giving away six years of work. I don’t understand it and it is sad to watch…
12/29/2009 at 3:20 pm
Rob, are you trying to make me cry too? I was hoping the Ink Blog plugin was just the thing to populate Ink Blogging Lonely Town (current population: me), and TEO was the main reason I switched to Outlook in the first place. Maybe everyone’s silent because they’re as depressed about the situation as I am.
12/29/2009 at 5:04 pm
GoBinder was a great piece of software. But I think with the 2006 version, there were too many performance issues and bugs that were not addressed quickly or completely enough before the rise of OneNote 2007.
On top of that, at that time, it seemed to me that Agilix would never get around to fixing a lot of these issues, given that they began to shift their efforts to Blackboard Backpack. In fact, if my memory serves me correctly, the announcement regarding this back then was that GoBinder was being rolled into Blackboard Backpack, so further development of GoBinder would halt (as GoBinder end-users would see it).
So of course as much as I loved GoBinder, I was forced to migrate to OneNote in order to “future-proof” my notes. And its a good thing that I did. The past few years had seen nothing past the first service pack release for GoBinder.
A great product, but the Agilix community didn’t end up supporting its users as much as it was originally intended to.
12/29/2009 at 5:45 pm
I’m sure I just overlooked this product, but in almost 2 years of using TPC’s, I have never heard of them. I clicked your links to see what they were about, and I was underwhelmed. Their site is web 1.0 all the way. It seems the only way to get good info about the product would be to download the trial – which I rarely do unless I am impressed by the product visuals on the site or reviews. I see none of that. What does it do that I don’t already have in Onenote? They should have had some flash showing their product and what it can do for me. Also, they needed to have a version newer than 2006.
12/29/2009 at 5:56 pm
Some four-five years back when GoBinder was still in its prime, their website did have a Flash presentation demonstrating its capabilities. The product was also wildly evangelized throughout the once popular TabletPCBuzz forums and also college-oriented blog “The Student Tablet PC”
Back then, these combined sources of information sold me on GoBinder, and I purchased a license for GoBinder, later upgrading to the much anticipated 2006 version when it came out.
Admittedly GoBinder dropped off the map shortly after the 2006 version was launched, which is probably why you’ve never heard of it before. It pretty much died right before you entered the Tablet PC market.
In my experience, GoBinder was more than just a note taking application (which is all OneNote is). It provided a fairly decent calendar and address book. It also had features targeted towards students such as the ability to easily organize things into Courses, which you could link things like to-do lists, calendar items and contacts.
The application was 100% ink enabled. There was rarely a part of the application that you had to use the Tablet PC Input Panel for. Calendar and to-do entries could be entered entirely in ink.
In addition, back in its earlier days, when only OneNote 2003 was available, GoBinder seemed to provide a better Tablet PC experience. OneNote 2003 didn’t appear to be built with the Tablet PC in mind (whereas the 2007 version has improved in leaps and bounds).
12/30/2009 at 6:49 am
Sad as it is, I’m not surprised. I’ve had a number of dealings with Agilix over the years, used and had students use their software, and even published a paper at the first WIPTE conference and the signficant educational benefits we saw with students using GoBinder. But, Agilix seemed to have lost sight of the product’s potential, just as MS seems to have done with Tablets generally. They focused their attention on their other products, and abandoned a best-in-class (if not only-in-class) application back in 2006.
Maybe we should start petitioning them to release the code as open source and let the (apparently non-existent or at least well-hidden) Tablet PC developer community take over. I for one would love to be able to rejuvenate that application.
As Ashely said, it is way more than a note-taking application. I would use it in a heartbeat, if only for its task management capabilities–which are far superior to Outlook, IMO, though not quite up to the Franklin-Covey version of GoBinder, which Agilix originally wrote as well.
12/30/2009 at 7:24 am
Well, let’s see how much they want for the intellectual property, we’ll rebrand it under GBM and ride the wave of upcoming Tablet PCs.
12/30/2009 at 9:35 am
If tweaked and re-released as “iBinder”, maybe it woukd be a hit! (Also revoltionary and new!)
12/30/2009 at 3:21 pm
ChrisRS–I definitely agree with you. I’m waiting for the ‘iSlate’ to hit the market and for the press to go gaga over how Apple invented the Tablet PC and Microsoft just stole the idea from them.
By the way, I floated the idea of GoBinder source code being released to a contact within Agilix and got the expected response. They are good folks, but have forgotten the power of ink it seems and what it did for them early on. It gave them their start and I hope they return to their roots.