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There are dozens of web meeting software programs, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, some programs allow co-browsing, advanced audio support, and file transfers from one computer to another. Something more important than functional features, however, is operating system compatibility. There are web meeting software programs for Microsoft®, Linux®, and Mac OS®, some of which are not cross-compatible. Lastly, these programs can either be free or paid for with one-time or monthly fees, and the amount of people using the program at once is capped.
Some types of web meeting software are more feature-heavy than others. Co-browsing, for example, is a popular feature that allows the main computer user to click on a website link, and all participants in the conference are shown the results. Some programs also allow file transfers without having to tab away from the web meeting because the interface is built to quickly send files. One feature that is growing in demand is smart phone compatibility, which allows an individual to attend a video web meeting via mobile phone.
Not all web meeting software is compatible with every computer operating system. If the meeting organizer chooses a Microsoft®-only program, all people with Mac OS® and Linux® are excluded from the meeting due to system incompatibility. Plenty of online meeting software programs are compatible with the most popular computer operating systems, however, like Adobe Acrobat Connect®, Microsoft Live Meeting®, and IBM Lotus Sametime Unyte®.
While some web meeting software programs are available for free, many companies choose to charge for the service. Sometimes the fees are structured so that small companies with few employees pay much less than companies that wish to conference with hundreds of people. For example, unlimited conferencing with 15 people might be one-third the cost of conferencing with 100 people. These fees are not always immediately available, and a custom quote can be obtained by calling or emailing the company.
Finding an inexpensive web meeting software program that can handle all operating systems and has all desired features can be a daunting task. Generally, very polished software with good features and a high capacity does not come at a small cost. This cost might be offset by reduced travel, as the company will no longer need to send employees hundreds of miles away and reimburse them for airfare, food, and accommodations.
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