GoToMeeting Cuts Conference Costs

Citrix Systems' GoToMeeting Web conferencing service is a good alternative to WebEx's Meeting Center and Microsoft's Live Meeting.

Simple, inexpensive and encrypted, Citrix Systems GoToMeeting Web conferencing service is a good alternative to WebExs Meeting Center and Microsofts Live Meeting.

The service is available in two versions: GoToMeeting and GoToMeeting Corporate, both of which went live this month. Pricing is based on the number of meeting organizers and targets small events: Each GoToMeeting organizer can host an unlimited number of meetings per year for $699, but meetings are limited to 10 attendees.

I tested GoToMeeting Corporate, which offers helpful tools for centrally managing organizers and meetings and supports 25 attendees per meeting. A five-organizer license costs $2,340 per year.

The key advantage over most competing services is that Citrix doesnt charge overage fees, and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption for meetings is free.

I liked the simplicity of the meeting tool—organizers and attendees have a small vertically oriented tool bar for controlling features such as application sharing, remote control and attendee chat . The service includes a teleconferencing bridge using a toll phone number.

GoToMeeting supports only Windows PCs, but I was able to use the latest versions of Netscape, Mozilla and Firefox, in addition to Internet Explorer. The integration points with Microsoft Outlook, AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger are all simple and well-thought-out. Starting impromptu meetings was also much quicker than Ive experienced with competing services.

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