Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Free GoToMeeting For Up To Ten Users: Citrix Screen-Sharing Clone Launches Beta: ConferencingNow

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Do you like GoToMeeting impressive screen-sharing capabilities but not its $49/month price tag? Are you on Windows? ConferencingNow offers right now what appears to be a full 100% GoToMeeting clone allowing you to have free online screen-sharing meeting with up to ten attendees at absolutely zero cost. Too good to be true? Read on.


However hard to believe the hard truth is that ConferencingNow makes one extra step easier for everyone to share their screen with anyone else on another Windows PC. After Yugma, Microsoft Shared View, LiveLook, Adobe Brio and the many other great free screen-sharing tools available out there, ConferencingNow, a company never heard before and with no information whatsoever about itself on its own site, launches a fully-featured GoToMeeting copy, differentiating itself from the original only in the look and feel of the icons and graphics used across the GUI.

But the core architecture and functionality set of ConferencingNow is an exact copy of Citrix GoToMeeting with all of its unique tools and features. Next to none apparently left out.

The new service was launched a few hours ago via a spam email. I discovered everything else about it by immediately signing up and testing out the new service.

The real news here is not so much the new ConferencingNow service itself, but the strategy and communication approach this company has taken to bring is business plan into action. Nothing short of amazing.



ConferencingNow is a new web conferencing service providing the full GoToMeeting feature-set at zero cost for up to ten users. As of now, the service which claims to be in full beta, offers no other plans, no paid options and no opportunity to increase the maximum capacity further.


Specific ConferencingNow features include:

  • Screen-sharing and remote control
  • Text chat
  • Full session recording
  • Live annotation and markup tools
  • Collaborative annotations
  • Change presenter facility
  • Remote control

Not available inside ConferencingNow are:

  • Teleconferencing support
  • The original slick GoToMeeting GUI graphic icons and visuals
  • Integration with your instant messengers
  • Support for users on other platforms (Mac, Linux)
  • Basic capacity starting at 15 users

A GoToMeeting Clone

ConferencingNow replicates faithfully all GoToMeeting features while dressing them with a little less elegance and science.


As a matter of fact, it is unnecessary at this point to go in depth to provide a more detailed review as you can go ahead and read the GoToMeeting one and come out with this same information.

ConferencingNow replicates in fact each and every single tool and functionality normally available inside GoToMeeting.

Obviously the greatest curiosity here is about the nature of this tool. Is it a Citrix licensed clone, an unlawful imitation or even a new marketing strategy by Citrix itself? Hard to tell.

The ConferencingNow web site has next to no information and when it comes to the license even the About dialog box inside ConferencingNow provides no hints as any possible official relationship with Citrix GoToMeeting.


The similarities are so striking and comprehensive that what you see is not a tool inspired by GoToMeeting, but an exact replica of it with different icons and graphics placed on the core interface.

Real or Fake?

As soon as I have seen the impressive similarities between the two tools I have promptly sent a request for clarifications on this matter to the ConferencingNow support email asking the following questions:


"I have just tested your impressive new offering and I am going to publish a review article on it on - I have two questions:

a) This appears to be the exact same technology utilized by Citrix GoToMeeting. Are you a licensed partner or your service has nothing to do with Citrix?

b) What's your business model? That is how can you guarantee continued service to users with a service that costs nothing?"

and after a couple of hours I have received this official reply:

thank you for contacting us regarding the Conferencing Now beta release.

The application has been written entirely from scratch.

The beta program is setup as a test case to identify the current status of the application and to learn more from users of what features they like and dislike for consideration in future releases so there is currently no supported business model as we progress passed proof of concept.
The product is currently in its first phase of beta. We hope you enjoyed this initial release.
Conferencing Now Support

Before receiving this reply above I also got in touch with my contact at Citrix, only to figure out, to my outmost surprise that the guys at GoToMeeting also knew nothing about this new tool.

No official licensing contracts exist that would have allowed ConferencingNow to create such a clone.

As Citrix has just found out about this situation (thanks to my call) they are just now planning what to do and how to act relative to this issue.



And so I leave it up to you to figure out this one.

How can ConferencingNow have a full clone of GoToMeeting and not even a mention of its relationship with it in its about page?

Can companies like ConferencingNow, which has set up a site that smells fake a hundred miles before landing on it, ever hope that people will not notice, not ask, not wonder anything about all this?

Even if the guys at ConferencingNow had developed this tool on their own, why copy it 100% from GoToMeeting and give no credit to it? What's the benefit? Think you can get away with no-one noticing it?

Isn't this almost anachronistic?

Originaly written by Robin Good for Master New Media and entitled "Free GoToMeeting For Up To Ten Users: Citrix Screen-Sharing Clone Launches Beta: ConferencingNow"

Readers' Comments    
2007-12-19 23:35:10

Dr. Carl Edwin Lindgren

Gee, I love it so far. I do not see the problem. I realize that in the 21st century everyone seems not to appreciate anything but it certainly works for my needs and pocketbook. I give it an "A+".

Prof. Carl Edwin Lindgren

2007-12-13 05:23:47


Just tried the app. It seems very cool. I'm prety sure its not spyware or malware. Seems like a lot of programming trouble to go through to just do that.

My guess it is a bunch of very good foreign programmers seeing if they can compete in the states based on good technology.

As for the getting sued for copying the layout, that's silly. Layouts are copied all over the web and in applications. Just look at the Microsoft browser you are probably running. You think Microsoft came up with that design and layout?

2007-12-12 16:49:34


We can't say they don't have a business plan just because no one tells us about it.

I wonder if the biggest question is "will they be sued" if they have copied another product too closely.

As to spamming the word out, it seems to have worked. Here it is on and we're all reading about it. If getting to the top is a measure of success, they have done that very quickly. And there's still enough mystery involved to keep the web buzzing. Even beyond what they are doing for themselves, this will be interesting to watch, and to see if it is replicated by others.

2007-12-11 08:06:55


This product raises many concerns.
1. They have no business plans." 2. They launch their product with a spam email message.
3. There is not clear indication of who this company really is, and where they are located?
4. They completely infringed on the GoToMeeting design... and bring absolutely nothing new to the table. No new features, ideas, concepts. No support for end-users.
Nothing new whatsoever.
The whole thing doesn't smell right. I wouldn't trust them at all. Do you think maybe there is some malware involved?

posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, December 11 2007, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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