Collaboration software is a popular topic these days, and this review from the summer of 2005 looks at a package from Citrix, offered on a monthly subscription basis.
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Organising meetings is one of the dreary bits of business. Citrix GoToMeeting is intended to make life simpler, by providing a service that lets you notify participants of meeting times, and share your screen with them, via a secure connection. There's the usual chat room, with the ability to send messages to everyone or just one other person. And in a neat touch, you can automatically send meeting schedules via Outlook. When someone receives a meeting invitation, they just need to click on a short URL and if the software's not already installed on their PC, it's downloaded - so there shouldn't be any support hassles. There's no net-based audio or video though; instead GoTo Meeting sets up a teleconference on their server, and informs participants what number to dial, and which code to enter when the call is answered. At the moment, that's a US call, but a European based service should be available soon.
So far, so good. With a personal account, you can have meetings of up to ten people at a time, as often as you like, and only the organiser needs to subscribe. Corporate accounts (for five or more organisers) allow up to 25 participants, and add reporting options too.
But unfortunately, that's just about where it ends; sure, there's nice integration to send invitations from popular instant messengers. But there's no file transfer facility, or video conference, or share whiteboard. So it's the scheduling features, and the teleconferencing that you're really paying for. Only people who have lots of meetings where they demonstrate using a PC will find that worth the money.
End of article.
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