Zoho Meeting is one among the free offerings from Zoho. Zoho is one among the leaders of Office 2.0. Zoho Meeting allows you to create a web conference online for free. Zoho also feature cross browser support.

Zoho MeetingZoho introduced public beta of Zoho Meeting a month back. Honestly, I had a chance to play with it only a week before. Zoho turns everyones attention by adding up new offerings to its Office 2.0 suite. Zoho meeting can be used in conjunction with other Zoho Office application like Zoho Show, Zoho Notepad etc.,

Zoho Meeting is easy to use application as well. All you have to do is create a meeting and provide the email id’s of participant. Alternatively, participant can join using meeting key also. After creating the meeting the presenter has to start the meeting. This might require an installation of an agent which is light weight. The participant can join the conference with either ActiveX, Java or Flash support. The later one would be slower.

The Zoho meeting has an option for Presenter to increase the quality of the color; this might reduce the speed. When I did the test with two laptops within a LAN network, I did notice a latency but it was negligible. It also allows the participant to interact with a chat interface, which is powered by Zoho Chat.

Features,

  • It seamlessly works across any browser provided it either has Flash, ActiveX or Java support.
  • Embedded the meeting anywhere in blogs, web page etc.,
  • Remote control the presenters desktop.
  • Free / Easy to use.

Zoho Meeting ScreenShot

Zoho Meeting Viewer

Enhancements / Improvements

  • Cross platform, no support for Mac and Linux currently. Well everyone should be aware of this. But yes only this limitation applies to the meeting presenter; participant can access meeting from any platform. And I believe Zoho crew would be working on this already.
  • Enable audio conference support for live meetings. This might not be a high point since most of the meetings get hosted through telephone in parallel with web conferencing. But enabling audio conference would gain the attention of small and medium scale companies.
  • The chat window needs serious reworking to catch up with other offerings. The chat window interface annoys a bit. It doesn’t allow few basic chat function like saving the chat history, copying the chat message, etc., Few people might prefer having this feature when they believe the chat happened there was important to them.
  • Better Event / Failure logging mechanism. When I was test driving, Zoho Meeting happened to error out and crash due to some reason. Zoho didn’t record the broken conference and it was reporting the conference was still in progress.
  • It would be great to have an option to switch presenter in the meeting. This need occurs if there are two or three presenters in an online meeting.

These are the few minor points, which came into my notice when I was test-driving Zoho Meeting. Overall Zoho always rocks and I’m one of their fan. Previously I had some good experience with Site24x7 their site monitoring service.

Bottom line, Zoho Meeting can’t be a complete replacement for WebEx or other market leading products but it is a very good alternative for Small Office and Freelancers.