There's a news story just starting to make the rounds. No doubt you'll soon see it trumpeted by most of Microsoft's competitors (look for it to appear in David Chao's WebEx blog in big bold type!). Microsoft hosted a web conference today with several of its partners in the security arena talking about their interaction with the new Vista operating system. Of course Microsoft used their Live Meeting web conferencing software for the event. Unfortunately the meeting crashed and reps from Symantec and McAfee said they could never get back in to the conference.
CNET initially reported the story and followed up with Microsoft's explanation that they accidentally sent out invitations to all participants that let them log in as presenters. That happened to me once (not when I was acting as administrator and moderator of course!) and it's not a pretty sight. Everybody manipulates the slides and display and options simultaneously... I'm not surprised it locked up.
The more interesting question is why the two companies couldn't rejoin when the meeting resumed. A problem is a problem... But it should be resolvable. This one still has open questions.
If you follow that CNET link above, take the time to read some of the user comments. In addition to the usual nonspecific griping and potshots about Microsoft, there are some interesting additional tidbits of information. One contributor said that he and a friend were unable to connect because of apparent security conflicts with both Symantec and McAfee fighting the Live Meeting app install.
In general, I prefer the Live Meeting interface for multiple presenters that gives everyone control of the presentation space at the same time. It removes a layer of management that WebEx includes, requiring the host to pass control to each presenter in turn. I like the "simpler is better" version of the former. But this is an example of how that can backfire. In a WebEx meeting, even if everybody mistakenly logged on as a presenter, they couldn't mess with the display unless the host let them. And the host could then calmly change their authority level back down to attendee status. Something to think about!
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