Evaluation of Microsoft NetMeeting


Gurhan Gunduz


Name Of The Tool: NetMeeting

URL’s to find out about it





1. Capabilities

NetMeeting application needs to be installed on your machine. You can download it from the website http://www.microsoft.com/windows/netmeeting/.

NetMeeting offers several features. These are:

            -Half-duplex and full-duplex audio support for real time features

-Participants can share programs, transfer files, collaborate on the Whiteboard, and use a text-based Chat feature.

-NetMeeting can be configured to preserve network bandwidth and implement or restrict features.


NetMeeting is synchronous.

The presentation feature of NetMeeting is not as powerful as other tools such as Centra or WebEx. You can use “program sharing” feature for presentation. But you cannot do any marking or highlighting unless the shared program allows you to do those. The audio feature is also not enough for presentation. Only two people can speak or listen each other during the presentation. Third person cannot hear or speak to other people. In order to have audio available for more than two participants at a time you must use a Multipoint Control Unit (MCU[1]) server.

Unlike audio, all participants can share data.

Presenter can take the full control over meeting by selecting the options when creating a meeting.  Second, the presenter does not select any option to take control. Therefore, audiences have the full control over presentation.

2. Audio/Video Conferencing.

The NetMeeting provides half-duplex and full-duplex audio support. It uses H.323 standard for audio and video conferencing. Low audio quality codec uses 6.4 Kbps. High quality audio codec can be selected manually.  Video quality is automatically adjusted according to the bandwidth. It supports picture-in-picture view.            


The highest priority for bandwidth is given to the audio stream, followed by data stream and then the video system.


3. Shared Documents Of Various Types.

It does not have this feature. It only allows you to share applications.


4. Application Sharing

Sharing capability allows you to share multiple programs simultaneously. Remote Desktop Sharing lets you operate a computer from a remote location.

File transfer lets you send one or more files in the background during a NetMeeting conference.


5. Archive

It does not have this feature.


6. Whiteboard

The whiteboard lets you collaborate in real time with others via graphic information.


7. Chat

Chat lets you conduct real-time conversations via text, with as many people as you like.


8. Quiz/Polling

It does not have this feature.


9. Cost

NetMeeting is a free product.


10. Number Of Participants:

If all the participants call the same computer then the maximum number is eight. But you can do chain topology to connect more people. Basically, you could have eight people hooked onto the host and then eight people hooked onto each of those and so forth.


11. System Requirements

The following are the minimum system requirements to install and run Microsoft NetMeeting.



NetMeeting has a configuration of typical bandwidths available on the following network types:

The highest priority is given to the audio stream, followed by data stream and then the video system.

Low-bandwidth codecs is used by default (6.4 Kbps). Higher bandwidth codecs can be selected manually.

Video   performance can dynamically scale higher or lower according to the available bandwidth.


12. Need for further development of Tool to be useful

I think they need to improve their presentation tools. Presentation is not good as other tools such as Centra or WebEx.







[1] A device that links three or more point-to-point videoconferencing systems into a multipoint conference.