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
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