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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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  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.

  11. Allan Edwards Tuesday, August 12, 2008

    Hi Samuel,

    I work as part of Netviewer’s PR team. I would be happy to set you up with an evaluation copy of one2meet and a demo if you would find that interesting.

    If you preffer to steer clear of us PR types then there are fully featured free 14 day trails of the Netviwer tools at : http://www.netviewer.co.uk/products/testenallg/index.jsp

    Best regards

    Allan

  12. AT&T Connect. It allows unlimited use at flat rate princing, up to 300 participants. Probably the best web conferencing solution of the market. For further information or a free trial period of 1 month of the AT&T Connect solution, visit http://www.call2conf.com.

  13. I just wanted to chime in with regard to hemmeter’s statement about Yugma and Java. While it is true that right now we require at least Java 1.5, we will soon be releasing an installer with a bundled JVM so no more java installations are required, and we won’t disturb current Java versions.

    In addition we are evaluating Java’s new “kernel” based installation method which installs the basic Java kernel and downloads all other required components in the background. This will significantly reduce the download size for our installer and make it even easier to install and get started.

    Samuel: Great article, glad to see we are being used and enjoyed, it was quite a thrill to see we were ranked #3, but of course we want to be #1! :)

    FYI to all the Yugma users out there, we are listening, we hear you, and we’re actively taking your suggestions to heart to constantly improve our offering!

    Thanks all!

    Tom Hudak
    Yugma Inc.

  14. WebWorkerDaily » Archive Web Work 101: 10 Apps You Can’t Do Without « Sunday, March 1, 2009

    [...] GotoMeeting vs. Yugma [...]

  15. Robert Harnischmacher Tuesday, March 10, 2009

    After last week’s update, our web conferencing portal now includes a test of Dimdim. Dimdim 4.5 Free rates highly when it comes to compatibility with operating systems, and ease of use. But free software comes at a price, since users have to do without some key functionality. As a result, the solution is restricted to very specific scenarios. webconferencing-test.com looks at the tasks Dimdim is suited for – and examines its limitations. For details, visit webconferencing-test.com

  16. I just got off the phone with Yugma and I am APPALLED at the attitude I just received from the person on the line. I signed up for Yugma free about a year ago, tried it several times and didn’t have good luck – people couldn’t log in, had problems with the downloads, all kinds of things. So I switched back to GoToMeeting. I heard that Yugma had a 20 person option for their full webinar software and decided to try it. I “upgraded” my account to the Yugma Pro 20 with the Webinar option and they charged me $34.90 for both services. That was on 9/2/09 — I set up the webinar and it was HORRIBLE. Most of the people that tried to login couldn’t get past the “Download” button on the webinar page. I was very frustrated but tried again and sent out “instructions” to everyone that I took the time to create to hopefully keep that from happening again and it was still a mess. So I let the person know just now that I was frustrated and wanted to cancel. I only used the system for 6 days so I asked about a refund. His reply to me was that NO refunds are given and that I agreed to the terms and conditions of their service. I asked why he didn’t have a free trial and he said there is one but that I would have had to create another login to get that, and that I should have done that. I told him I didn’t know that was possible and that when I called to upgrade I wasn’t given that option. His comment to me was that he was sorry but there would be no refund. I told him I was going to tell my story on the internet and his answer to that was, “Go ahead – that’s your right to say negative things.” CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT ATTITUDE??? Totally blows my mind. Oh well, they just lost a customer for life – even if they fix the challenges with the system I would NEVER use this service again – they could have at least credited me part of the fee. His attitude was arrogant and unwavering – absolutely no empathy for me having a bad experience at all.

    GoToMeeting – here I come again and I won’t be leaving for Yugma ever again.

  17. Online Meetings… | e1evation, llc Saturday, September 26, 2009

    [...] With the price of gas as it is, and time always being at a premium, the idea of online meetings is gaining in popularity… “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.” Source: WebWorkerDaily » Archive Online Meeting App Study: GoToMeeting Tops Yugma? « [...]

  18. Each has its own limitation. For now I use TeamViewer for quick impromptu meeting with my distributed team.

    I used to use Yugma – but it has always led to frustrated end users. Further, from time to time they have network slowdowns, too many updates, etc. I gave them a try several times. Till it hurt one of our potential sale – due to constant freezing and connection drops.

    I think for more important meetings, I just would stick with and recommend GoToMeeting/WebEx.

  19. We use TurboMeeting from RHUB which has jumped to 4th in these rankings thanks to adding several new features. I think when RHUB adds VoIP late 2010, the may even be top ranked. RHUB guarantees attendance by attending in the browser without an install for all platforms like iPads, iPhones and Windows Mobile via Skyfire. TurboMeeting is very powerful and easy to use meeting software.
    http://www.rhubcom.com/

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