Tag Archives | Citrix

GoToMeeting Gets Videoconferencing

Built-in videoconferencing is an almost-standard feature in Web conferencing services these days–it’s even in SlideShare’s free Zipcast. It has, however, been missing from one of the biggest names in the business: Citrix’s GoToMeeting. But Citrix is announcing today that HDFaces, the video feature it revealed last October is going live after a bit of a delay. The company told me about the new feature last week in an appropriate way: it let me participate in a GoToMeeting session that used it. (That’s three folks from Citrix and me in the screenshot above.) Even though I was on so-so hotel Wi-Fi, it worked well.

HDFaces lets up to six people partake in a video conversation, with each person appearing in a window up to 640-by-480 in resolution. (The “HD” presumably refers to the maximum combined resolution of all the streaming video if six people are online at once–1920 by 960.) The technology adjusts for the bandwidth available: during the demo I got, the picture and audio stayed in sync and the session was about 98 percent free of choppiness or other obvious defects. As you’d expect, the video windows are integrated with GoToMeeting’s existing desktop sharing, text chat, and other features.

Starting today, HDFaces will be included at no extra charge as part of a standard GoToMeeting account, which costs $49 a month or $468 a year for unlimited meetings. (That’s for the host–it doesn’t cost anything to attend.) Archrival Webex already has videoconferencing in both its browser-based version and its iPad application: Citrix says it intends to bring the video feature to its mobile apps in the future.

 


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Nirvana! In a Phone!

For several years now, I’ve been telling people that I think the future of personal computing and communications involves all desktops and most laptops eventually going away, and the PC becoming a smartphone with a continuous broadband connection. When we need more display real estate and a good keyboard, we’ll use screens and keyboards which will be conveniently located all over the place, which can instantly make a wireless connection with our smartphone.

We’re not there yet. Actually we’ve got a long way to go until we get there. But here’s an interesting piece by VentureBeat’s Anthony Ha about the Nirvana project–whose goal is to bring parts of this idea to reality right now…


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Is Microsoft Preparing to Announce a Yahoo Search Deal?

Microsoft may be ready to inject some sizzle into its jaded romance with Yahoo. Jeffries investment bank analyst Katherine Egbert is reporting that Microsoft registered a limited liability company (LLC) in Delaware last week–a move that she believes could precipitate an acquisition or joint venture.

Microsoft also recently disclosed that it is issuing bonds, making an acquisition more of a likelihood.

Egbert suggested that Microsoft’s target may be desktop and virtualization management software maker Citrix, but Yahoo is also a highly candidate. The timing for Yahoo would fits in light of news that Microsoft intends to invest up to $100 million to advertise its “Bing” (or something) search engine.

That investment makes little sense unless Microsoft has a more compelling service and a greater flow of traffic to Bing. A deal with Yahoo would be a means to those ends, and it has repeatedly been on the table for months.

I’m happy using Google for search, so I would need to see some stunning search results before I make the switch. To put it bluntly, Microsoft might be blowing its $100 million on another failed consumer venture, and I believe that a Citrix deal would make more sense in the long term.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about what’s in it for Microsoft is deploying virtual desktop environments within enterprises. Cloud computing and server-based virtualization are other areas where Microsoft would benefit. Strategically, acquiring Citrix would help Microsoft compete with VMware–one of the software giant’s greatest bete noires at the moment.

Whether Microsoft’s machinations involve Yahoo, Citrix, or something else, keep an ear out for news out of Redmond within the coming days or weeks.


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