Real Time Sharing

This page is under revision to reflect the status in June 2011

Beyond the Voice Conversation

Accompanying multi-party conversations, including conference calls, is the need to share files – documents, photos, videos and other graphics – as well as to view, and interactively work on, a remote PC in a collaborative environment.

The web allows voice calls to be complemented by visual experiences, such as file transfer, desktop sharing, cobrowsing, “slide” (or PowerPoint) presentations and video sharing. Once again there are two segments:

  • the informal: ad hoc file transfer and desktop sharing
  • the formal (or Web Conference); moderated sessions which combine all of these activities into one user experience. In some cases the sessions can be persistent – think of a virtual board room that is visited from time-to-time to meet, share documents and hold presentations across geographically dispersed locations.

A key factor in deciding on a collaboration service is the operating system requirements. While the Skype client itself allows participation by users on Windows, Mac or Linux, some services are limited to Windows only. Other factors in deciding on a real time sharing service include:

  • screen refresh speeds,
  • chat session flexibility
  • compensating for various screen sizes/resolutions,
  • video sharing capability
  • options for remote control of a participant’s screen,
  • session recording, and
  • session management features (such as scheduling, user access, switching shared display).

There are many ways to share within the Skype ecosystem:

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