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Part VII: Unleashing Windows 98 for the ... > Remote Collaboration with Microsoft ...

Chapter 36. Remote Collaboration with Microsoft NetMeeting


He sought to inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.

O. Henry

As remote connection technologies improve, commuters find themselves morphing into telecommuters, and employees often end up with more freedom than ever to work where they want, when they want. In this new age of distance computing, the traditional definition of an office needs to be modified to include modern incarnations that are more “virtual” than physical.

Not only that, but the manner in which employees interact with each other also needs to be rethought. If members of, say, the editorial department are scattered all over the city, state, or even country, regular meetings just aren't possible. Sure, there is always email or company Web pages (or even that almost-forgotten device, the telephone) to keep distant workers informed, but these methods lack the interaction of a true meeting.

If you have users or colleagues who must collaborate regularly but who are too far flung to meet face-to-face, Microsoft NetMeeting might be the solution. NetMeeting is a communication and collaboration tool that allows users to establish “conferences” over an Internet, a network, or a modem connection. Within these conferences, remote users can interact in various ways:

  • They can have voice conversations using sound card/microphone combinations.

  • They can exchange files.

  • They can “chat” by sending text messages in real time.

  • They can use an electronic Whiteboard to collaborate on drawings.

  • They can share applications and even work together on the same document.

This chapter shows you how to set up NetMeeting and then takes you through all its collaboration features.



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