Why we kept Microsoft NetMeeting in our ranking

Microsoft NetMeeting is by far the oldest product we feature in our ranking: It was originally distributed together with Windows 95. NetMeeting also is the only web conferencing solution in our ranking that is not being further developed and for which there is no support.

We still tested it and included it in our overview for various good reasons. For many business-users “web conferences” and “NetMeeting” are synonymous, which shows what natural and exclusive usage this simple Microsoft tool continues to get – for internal online meetings that is. And NetMeeting’s time is nowhere near to being over.

A manager of one of the leading Cisco distributors recently gave us an interesting insight into how collaboration tools are actually being used. For “big” online meetings connecting multiple locations, personnel reserve meeting rooms in which they gather for the meeting and make use of the pre-installed video conferencing solution Cisco Telepresence. Since for every instance a large internal cost is accrued this solution is not the most popular. This is also due to the fact that staff must prove that using this solution leads to less travel cost. For the occasional online conference with external attendees, distributors most regularly use Cisco WebEx Meeting Center. For internal virtual gatherings regarding daily business the number-one solution is NetMeeting – for the simple reason that “NetMeetings” are easy to start.

So if even organizations that have the most up-to-date web conferencing tools in place still make use of good old NetMeeting that means for us:

NetMeeting obviously is far outdated, which means that usually we wouldn’t consider it for evaluation. But since millions of business-users are not aware of any solution other than NetMeeting, we want to at least show the difference between this early software and the current, far superior solutions for web conferencing.