Microsoft Corp [MSFT] has retired its legacy NetMeeting online conference application after six years of development. The company will instead put forward Office Live Meeting as a successor.
NetMeeting was a pioneering online conferencing product hit the market in May 1996, preceding most instant messaging (IM) and other real-time online communication offerings of today.
The application is still offered as part of Windows and several of its features – notably whiteboarding and application sharing – are also used by the MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger IM applications.
The writing has been on the wall for NetMeeting since the acquisition of more advanced online collaboration technology from PlaceWare Inc in April this year. Microsoft is now incorporating this IM and real-time collaboration technology to its new Office Live Meeting product.
Although NetMeeting has been left behind by newer IM and web conferencing products such as Sametime from IBM Corp’s [IBM] Lotus, it has nevertheless garnered a small, but loyal, community of users mostly to support online conferencing between small groups of people. Microsoft had also claimed the application could easily scale up to thousands of users.
Microsoft denied the move to pull the plug on NetMeeting had anything to do with a recent lawsuit filed by SPX Corp’s [SPW] subsidiary Imagexpo LLC, that claimed NetMeeting’s whiteboard infringed on its patent. Microsoft was ordered earlier this month to pay $62.3 million in damages, but still contests the accusation.
This article was based on material originally published by ComputerWire.