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?