Dimdim is an open source alternative to proprietary web conferencing packages like WebEx and GoToMeeting. We first wrote about them back in September 2006 when they were offering an alpha version of their on-premise solution.
Today the company is releasing a hosted version of that solution that requires no setup to use – not even a browser plugin like other offerings. CEO DD Ganguly says by getting rid of plugins, Dimdim will be more accessible to those who are either technically unsavvy or wary of installing 3rd-party software online.
The hosted web conferencing experience has the same functionality as the on-premise one, except that companies can’t customize it to look like their websites. Dimdim can be used to run slideshow presentations, hold collaborative freehand drawing sessions, chat (in groups or privately), and share desktops.
The free version of the product allows for up to 20 simultaneous users and is supported by advertisements. To get rid of the ads and access benefits like technical support, guaranteed uptime, and custom branding, organizations will have to pay anywhere from $100 to $500 depending on the seats they need.
Dimdim says that its on-premise solution has been downloaded over 200,000 times in 165 countries. About 26,000 people have beta tested this hosted solution.
The open source strategy followed by Dimdim makes most sense when customers want to manage the software on-premise, and it’s not so important when everything’s hosted in the cloud. But it’s good to see competition nipping at the heals of giant WebEx.