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Is there a MacOS X version of NetMeeting?

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David -

If there is not already a version of it for Mac OS 10.3.9 (my operating system), I am trying to find something comparable to a progam called 'Net Meeting'. Oh great wise person from the West, share the wisdom!

Hope that all is well with you and yours.

West Palm Beach


I haven't heard the phrase NetMeeting in a long time, what with all of the instant messaging services eclipsing that application, but there are some people still using it, and there are some options for Mac users to play along with what is a decidedly Microsoft Windows-only application.

First off, what is Netmeeting?

Netmeeting was developed by Microsoft a long time ago to allow users to communicate with each other over the Internet. Sounds a lot like MSN Messenger, doesn't it? Well, MSN Messenger augmented Netmeeting as the preferred IM client on Windows machines a few years ago, but Netmeeting is still around. Here are your options when using Netmeeting:

- You can text chat, like with AIM and Yahoo! and MSN Messenger
- You can talk and use two way video
- It has a built in whiteboard for collaboration online
- You can transfer files back and forth
- You can share the use of applications over the Net. A bit clunky, but it works.

The bad news? As you found out, Patricia, there is no native MacOS X version of Netmeeting.

The good news? Netmeeting uses the videoconferencing standard H323. That means that Netmeeting users can use that standard to use some of the functions of Netmeeting with other pieces of software that use the same standard, no matter what operating system the user chooses.

And that includes MacOS X.

But, bear in mind, I said some of the functions, not all. So, depending upon what you want to do, I have a couple of options.

Read on... (more ahead)

The main solution is called XMeeting. Xmeeting is an open source project, free to use, but it only handles video and audio conferencing, not application sharing or file transfers. It does, however, support SIP, the standard used by almost all VoIP (voice-over-IP) vendors, so it's the long term solution I'd recommend. Check it out here:

There's also a piece of software, also open source, called Ekiga (formerly known as GnomeMeeting), and you can get more information about that at:

Both of these solutions have binaries (read that word as the equivalent of "application that I can use on my Mac") for MacOS X. I haven't used either of them (I find that AIM and iChat work fine for me in most cases), so I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

Thanks for asking!

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