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Summary:

I’m a big fan of online meeting and collaboration tools. Among other things, they’ve saved me from some of the many flights and hotels that I used to have to put up with. I found this comparison of online meeting tools interesting. I’m always wary of […]

I’m a big fan of online meeting and collaboration tools. Among other things, they’ve saved me from some of the many flights and hotels that I used to have to put up with. I found this comparison of online meeting tools interesting.

I’m always wary of whether these kinds of studies may be funded by vendors rather than independent. However, the results of this study–at least among the winners–lined up at least reasonably closely with my experience with the applications tested. The test approach for the study is found here. The winners in the study tended to be the professional (paid) versions of applications, instead of the free ones that I use, but that’s understandable since paid versions of online meeting applications often allow for extras such as up to 1,000 meeting participants–an extra that I don’t need. So who were the winners and did they win for good reasons?

Citrix GoToMeeting was the winner in the study, and I used to use that application constantly, and still like it. It is excellent for doing online demos of software applications, you can get in and out of it quickly, and it’s easy to send people links to launch meetings. It’s no longer my favorite, though.

The next four among the top five in the study were: WebEx MeetMeNow, Yugma Professional, Netviewer one2meet, and Microsoft Office Live Meeting. Of these, I have used all of them except one2meet. I was particularly glad to see Yugma there, which has remained among my favorite online meeting applications, as I wrote about here.

This study named the Professional edition of Yugma among the winners, but Yugma also comes in a very useful free version, which is what I use. You can launch meetings with it about as easily as you can ping a buddy through an IM buddy list. The study also called out one of the best things about Yugma–that it works well on Windows, the Mac and on Linux.

I strongly disagreed with one choice made in the study: It didn’t even include Dimdim, the best open source online meeting application. On the OStatic blog, we wrote about some of the really good new features in the new version 4.0 of Dimdim. For example, you can now record meetings in Dimdim, and it now supports Mac desktop sharing.

For anyone who isn’t using these collaboration tools, I would start by getting to know the free version of Yugma, and open source Dimdim. Yugma is particularly good if you want to get in and out quickly, and do cross-platform meetings.

Do you favor any online meeting applications?

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By Samuel Dean

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  1. Gregg Marshall Friday, August 8, 2008

    One frustration I have with GoToMeeting is it installs itself “permanently” on my Windows XP system, which I usually uninstall since I don’t want extra applications, especially in my system tray.

    It has made me think twice about accepting some invitations…

  2. My current favorite is: http://www.webhuddle.com
    (I used to like zohomeeting.com)

  3. hey i have came across this application named vmukti.It is again web based like others but good point about this is they dont restrict users in terms of video or audio. it trully unlimited. and again they offer at half price of others. and good point about this is it works very smoothly as well worth try it . i would request bloogers and vmukti team to right about it so readers like us would get an idea.

  4. Adobe ConnectNow

  5. Neil Thompson Saturday, August 9, 2008

    Microsoft has SharedView (http://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=94) in beta at present which seems to cover most of my needs. It is free but doesn’t allow future scheduling of meetings like you can with, say, GoToMeeting.

  6. I’ve used GoToMeeting and WebEx, and liked GTM much better. It has a much cleaner interface and seemed to work much better overall. I had trouble with the WebEx toolbars in MS Office (crashed the apps) and could not uninstall the system tray application – even after requesting technical support. The client installation for GTM was much less obtrusive as well.

  7. We’re excited to release Dimdim 4.0 – now it can record and give you a simple playback URL or embed code, Mac desktop sharing, multiple presenters, VoIP/Webcam chat, and more. All this with up to 20 people at once – all for free. So have as many meetings as you want on us. And all this requires NO INSTALL for anyone (even the host!) unless a participant wants to share their desktop. (even then it’s a tiny 1.8MB plug-in with an uninstaller if you don’t like it ;)

    Enjoy, and let us know how you like Dimdim. We care.

  8. I really like Yugma and use it when I can. However, I often find that it requires a higher version of Java than most of my clients have. I don’t mind telling clients to install the Yugma plugin to participate in a meeting, but telling them they need to upgrade Java seems silly. It’s harmless for them to do, but it’s not a small download and ends up eating meeting time.

    I think if you have people in their Viewer mode, they don’t need Java, but if you want them to have the client so they can become the presenter, it requires it.

    Other than that, I am a fan.

  9. GoToMeeting has been a consistent let down for me and my colleagues. Constantly dropping the connection and then forcing us to register a new meeting thingo.

  10. We’ve started using Adobe ConnectNow from http://www.acrobat.com

    Free and simple.

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