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Dimdim Challenges WebEx, Microsoft

[qi:012] Dimdim, a Burlington, MA.-based web meeting services startup, wants to take on Cisco Systems’ (CSCO) WebEx and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Placeware by emphasizing simplicity and ease of use. The company, which is backed by investors including Draper Richards, Index Ventures and Nexus Capital India, launches its service today at DEMOfall 2007. Co-founded by Computer Associates alumni DD Ganguly and Prakash Khot, Dimdim has so far raised $2.5 million.

The service allows you share your desktop and files, and to IM, talk, and broadcast using your webcam. Dimdim is using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud service to operate its service, and says its software is open source.

The service utilizes Adobe’s (ADBE) Flash 9 plugin for all of the multimedia apps. I gave the Dimdim service a brief spin and was impressed by its stripped-down simplicity and the speed with which it loaded into the browser, especially when compared to WebEx’s long startup process.

But that doesn’t mean WebEx (acquired by Cisco Systems for $3.2 billion) has anything to worry about right now, for Dimdim is still a work in progress. Its interface needs tweaking; in fact, it needs to be livened up. After all, web meetings can be fun. too. Nor was I clear as to how secure my information was going to be or where, exactly, all the files that I uploaded went. But I’m sure they will resolve all these issues soon.

This is a competitive market, and it’s going to get even more competitive. Sooner or later, Google (GOOG) is going to enter with its own twist on web conferencing, as WWD’s Anne Zelenka has pointed out. If Dimdim hopes to truly establish itself, it will have to focus relentlessly on “user experience.”

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Can DimDim beat WebEx, Placeware?
  • Yes
  • Not Likely
  • Will Be bought by Google

28 Responses to “Dimdim Challenges WebEx, Microsoft”

  1. That’s interesting. But these days, people are not just buying products based on the brand name alone. Many of them are looking for more economical and reliable solutions too. For instance, GoMeetNow ( costs just $12.95 per month but provides free audio conferencing along with video casting and screen sharing that provides great value for money.

  2. i have used DimDim several times and its saved me many a plane ride. works well, needs no downloads, and priced reasonably. hope they are bought/funded well and left alone to develop the heck out of this service. nice job fellas.

  3. Can anyone say “godaddy”? There a dumb name for you… They’ll never get anywhere. Or will they? :-)

    If dimdim can move away from the exe install for desktop sharing AND keep an open version available to the motivated admins, they’ll have a killer app to market. Our PCs are locked down and the admins who package software for deployment to the desktop are not exactly offering to push this out for us…

  4. If you read all these comments it looks like everyone wants to make its one meeting-software. Even when there is already a lot of nice software out there – it’s not just dimdim, I for example prefer There you can see what nice software looks like.

  5. We currently use another technology for providing voice conferencing to our clients, but I like DimDim´s value proposition, as it helps expand the market given its promised ease of use. I foresee the day when webconferencing will be as ubiquitous as e-mail is today.

  6. NasMobile

    Whilst Webex has stronger enterprise features, DimDim is pretty cool too. A breeze to use and well worth trying. Who says you have to choose one or the other!

  7. Mav, thanks for the question: Dimdim is different than Adobe Connect in 3 major ways:

    1. We’re free for up to 20 people (Adobe lets you meet with only 2 other people for free) And if you want to buy Dimdim, we’re about 1/3 the cost of Adobe’s offerings.

    2. We’re open source. You can take our code and extend it. You can brand it with your own logo. You can access our hosted product via open APIs. Adobe does not of this.

    3. We’re much easier to use. We’re 100% browser based with no plug-in required to attend or host meetings. The only time you need to install anything is if you want to share your desktop. Sharing webcam, VoIP, PPT, etc doesn’t require a thing.

    Or vision is to enable the whole world to meet freely. Hope this helps!

  8. How is didmdim different from Adobe Connect? It seems to even have a similar user interface. I don’t see any differentiators in the product/technology.

  9. richard

    I came across Dimdim recently and used it in an international pitch to large Pharma co in the states. Despite non-belivers questioning our judgement we went ahead. Everyone was amazed especially given no downloads and free of charge.

    Can anyone tell me where i can invest in this company?



  10. That was STUPID Michael!! The way anything “Indian” invites racist commentaries from creeps like Junkey Mikey in this forum – seems to me paving the way for a downfall of US based IT industry just like Japanese automakers killed off the likes like GM.

  11. I noticed this company is run only by Indians with engineering jobs based in India. If they planning to sell against US based companies with US Sales teams at Citrix, Connect, WebEx, MSFT, etc.. they have no chance. US buyers will not buy from Indian sales reps, can’t wait to see this firm go down hard….

  12. FYI – Microsoft web meeting application is now named Office Live Meeting, and is no longer referred to as Placeware.

    Adobe already has Breeze, now named Adobe Acrobat Connect as their web-based meeting space.

    I work on Office Live Meeting, but I welcome the competition from Dimdim. Additional competitors only make the genre of applications stronger.

    In fact I am going to try out the application to see what I think.

  13. Jerry,

    Haven’t you been part of a web meeting which got delayed and ultimately someone said, “Let’s just e-mail the slides and discuss them over the phone.”.

    That happens because legacy web meeting sofwtare is complicated and it can only be used by tech-savvy people, who are comfortable installing software.

    Think of Wang’s word processing software. Did it work? Sure. Was it for all? No. That’s where web meeting software is today.

    Warm regards,

  14. This is an already crowded space with two 800 pound gorillas and a third looming large.

    Smaller, faster, cheaper, easier, imho, won’t get it done. Something disruptive will have to come along to change this game. Presentation sharing, application sharing and whiteboarding have been around for several years and corporate accounts and corporate standards make this a tough banana to peel.

  15. 1) It’s an awful name.
    2) WebEx is pretty sweet and competition is always good.
    3) The headline should be “Dimdim Aims to Challenge WebEx, Microsoft” instead of challenges it because it’s a startup, not a newcomer with a good percentage of market share, you know?

  16. That’s one of the dumbest names for a company that wants to compete with the likes of WebEx. Anyway, if this company really does threaten WebEx then we will all hear of it eventually. As for now, its time to go back and take my nap!