updated 08:00 am EDT, Wed July 9, 2008
GoToMeeting for Mac
Citrix Online is releasing updated versions of its popular GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar conferencing software with complete support for the Mac, and integrated VOIP and telephone audio capability. Aimed at small to medium-sized businesses, the applications provide "one-click" web conferencing for small groups to large-scale web presentations. The company says it has seen a sharp increase in Mac use among its customers and decided the "time was right" to create OS X-native versions of both programs.
"This is very exciting time" for Mac users, said Kineon Walker, Citrix Online Product Marketing Manager in an interview with MacNN. Walker says his main customers -- smaller businesses -- have been more willing to embrace the Mac than larger firms that have huge investments in other computing platforms. Although earlier versions of GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar allowed Mac users to participate in conferences, the new editions allow them host meetings and have the same features as their Windows counterparts.
The integration of VOIP and audio eliminates a major hassle for conferences where some users connect via the Web, while others dial in over traditional telephone lines. Until now, conference moderators had to come up with a way to patch both sets of users together, usually by trying to hold a telephone while using a computer headset at the same time. Kineon says that feature and others are part of a strategy to make both products simple to use, especially for smaller companies with limited IT budgets.
GoToMeeting is designed for smaller conferences and impromptu meetings while GoToWebinar supports presentations to audiences of up to 1000 people. Users can present information, demonstrate products or conduct training using Keynote, PowerPoint, text documents, pictures and other material. Although the company does not directly support it, Citrix says many users also use video in their presentations. GoToWebinar includes tools that allow presenters to monitor the audience, gather feedback and even help determine which participants are paying attention.
Web conferencing software is growing in popularity as business travel costs continue to rise. The product is also useful for "virtual companies" with telecommuting employees scattered across a wide area, and for schools that use the technology for online classes. GoToMeeting for Mac costs $50 per month for unlimited meetings. GoToWebinar fees are $100 a month. Both require Mac OS 10.4 Tiger or above.