Yugma: Free Online Conferencing Tool Gets an Upgrade

Yugma is one of my favorite free, web-hosted applications. I’ve written about it before here and now it’s out in a new version 3 that offers some useful enhancements. The rollout of version 3 included a few bug fixes, but it’s now stable. If you haven’t tried Yugma, it’s a great way to hold virtual meetings for Windows, Mac and Linux users.

Yugma, like many of the other online conferencing applications, offers paid versions that offer more features than the free one, but I find everything I need in the free version. In the new release, quite a few of the enhancements are under-the-hood performance fixes, but the application also has a better interface and other additions now.

Among additions to Yugma in version 3, the look and feel of the application have become much slicker. As always, inviting people to join a conference with you is very much like inviting buddies from an IM buddy list. However, once you’re in a conference, the interface is snappier and better looking. There is also a new lightweight viewer for conference joiners, and Yugma is easier to install than it was in previous versions.

Like Microsoft LiveMeeting, Yugma users can initiate a conference call as they start a session. Participants call a toll-free telephone number, enter a code supplied for the meeting, and up to 10 callers can connect (many more can in the paid versions). Yugma also integrates with Skype so you get many options for keeping your virtual meetings free.

Meeting participants can share desktops and demonstrate applications as well as go through presentations. One of the really useful features in the paid versions of Yugma that I wish I could use in the free version is recording conferences. The Premium edition of the application starts at $9.95 a month.

If you haven’t used this free application give it a try. It’s as good as many fee-based conferencing applications.

Which online conferencing solution do you recommend?



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