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March 21, 2014

Citrix Introduces GoToMeeting Free for Video Chat with WebRTC

At Enterprise Connect this week, unified communications and collaboration was the name of the game, and solutions commonly heard and discussed were GoToMeeting, Jabber, WebEx and Lync. What was also frequently discussed was WebRTC, the growth of peer-to-peer real-time communications and that status of this trend now that we’re about two years into this technology’s development. GoToMeeting, one of the forerunners in conferencing and collaboration solutions, just released GoToMeeting Free, video chat with WebRTC.

GoToMeeting is a Web conferencing software that offers HD video and audio conferencing capabilities to offer a complete collaboration experience for users. It traditionally offers Web tools such as desktop sharing, transfer control, recording, annotation and chat, as well as VoIP options for audio calls and up to six attendees on video in HD.

Now, with WebRTC, GoToMeeting has the convenience of being entirely browser-based (on Chrome, for now) and is ideal for quick sync-ups and meetings with small teams. If you can open Chrome, you can use GoToMeeting free – it brings the benefits of WebRTC to users so they don’t have to sign up or download anything. GoToMeeting Free can serve up to three people on video and includes features like desktop sharing, audio controls, meeting scheduling, recording and phone audio. It can complement premium versions of GoToMeeting or work on its own. 

We just released http://t.co/aBI7gzcvFW, free video chat with WebRTC - go try it out!

— Ole Michelsen (@omichelsen) March 20, 2014

Ole Michelsen, a developer at Citrix, announced the release on Twitter yesterday, and we caught up with him to talk more about using WebRTC for applications like GoToMeeting Free.

“In my personal opinion, WebRTC is extremely approachable and easy to work with. There are of course a couple of rough edges, mostly due to the implementation differences in the various browsers. The standard is not quite done yet, but I still think, that what we have now is very usable and can offer a good user experience,” Michelsen explained. “There is no doubt, that WebRTC opens a lot of new options, and makes it possible to put it into almost every device.”

He says the lack of general browser support, most notably from Microsoft and Apple, is one of the major roadblocks in WebRTC’s growth. He also notes Firefox’s audio quality issues, which Mozilla is aiming to fix soon, but in the meantime, as a developer consumer of the WebRTC stack, there is not much you can do to work around it.

For now, there are only randomly generated GoToMeeting Free URLs, no customized names and links yet. Users can reuse or bookmark a GoToMeeting Free link, though.

The newest service is an experimental product. It doesn’t work on mobile devices except for Chrome on Android – Chrome on iOS is not supported. Citrix has plans to add more features to GoToMeeting Free in the future.

Try it out! free.gotomeeting.com

Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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