Intall Old Windows Or New Windows With New Build 10 NetMeeting in Windows 7: Where Is It?

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NetMeeting in Windows 7: Where Is It?

You have just installed a new Windows 7 operating system on your computer. Windows 7 is indeed a great OS and you are almost certainly enjoying many of its features. Sooner or later you decide to share a PowerPoint presentation with your colleague. You write “configuration” in the Run menu to fire up good old NetMeeting. You press Enter anticipating a new and improved interface and… nothing happens. Wait, is my Windows installation messed up or did they rename the software?

Where is NetMeeting?

Let’s make it clear from the start – there is no NetMeeting in Windows 7. Microsoft removed it from the last operating system. Why? They are pushing companies to deploy full-featured unified communications solutions like Microsoft Lync. But what about those of us who aren’t ready or simply don’t need the complexity of such a solution? All is not lost and there are several options available.

What are the alternatives?

Let’s take a quick look at some tools that can be considered a replacement for NetMeeting for Windows 7.

Official Microsoft solutions

NetMeeting in XP mode – basically you run a Windows XP virtual machine inside the Windows 7 OS.

The pros:

  • Free (on Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate).
  • You get the full functionality of NetMeeting.

Disadvantages:

  • Available only on Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate.
  • Heavy – running a separate OS just for one app seems like overkill to me.
  • Requires non-trivial installation and configuration – may be a problem for end users.

Microsoft SharedView – cannot be considered a direct replacement for NetMeeting as it does not allow you to connect directly to another machine’s IP. That is, it is not using a peer-to-peer (P2P) connection.

The pros:

  • Microsoft’s official alternative to Windows 7.
  • Free.
  • Improved functionality.

Disadvantages:

  • It works over the Internet and therefore requires an Internet connection.
  • Less secure – your data leaves your private network.
  • Slow on local network as it is no longer P2P.
  • Requires Windows Live ID creation.
  • Limited to 15 participants.
  • Requires installation.

Third Party Solutions

Tools like WebEx, LogMeIn, etc are readily available from many vendors. Functionally, they are even further from NetMeeting than Microsoft SharedView and could be described by many users as “too much”. The only situation in which I would recommend using such a tool to replace NetMeeting is when your organization has already implemented it and paid for it.

The pros:

  • Rich functionality.
  • Your organization may already have them in place.

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive.
  • Most of them are web based.
  • Usually complex user interface – functionally overloaded.
  • Internet connection and ID creation required.
  • Not P2P and often slow.

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