Vyew is a new collaboration tool suite that lets users share a common online visual workspace and their desktops. It is impressive. The service came out of beta status today and is now offering premium accounts in addition to the free accounts already available.
Vyew is a little like WebEx and other high end conferencing offerings. It’s also a little like Thinkature and other easy collaboration tools. It’s definitely a company to watch, though I didn’t have the easiest time using it myself while testing it.
Free accounts allow the creation of two workspaces with 10 uploaded items. For $10 or $20 per month you can raise those limits substantially.
Vyew doesn’t require a desktop client to be downloaded by users. That’s key for quick and easy adoption by new users. Workspaces are shared in Flash and desktops with a Java applet. There’s text chat and with a single click Vyew will generate a unique login for participants to use for a free telephone conference call.
There’s a well produced, in depth screencast with a very earnest voice here.
The workspace tools are on the sophisticated end of standard. Pointing arrows are unidirectional, which is a small thing but I’d like to have text to the right of an item and point an arrow left connecting the two. That’s not easy to do though and hardly anyone goes to the trouble in adding that to services like this. There are a number of alpha-plugins like the Yahoo Maps one in screenshot below.
How is the performance? The administrative functions are very well done – all the options available are a joy to use. In Safari I had some trouble with the workspace when the desktop sharing was turned on. The desktop sharing I found easy to start but a little difficult to use without any practice.
I would recommend trying out Vyew and seeing if you can get the use of it down. If you can, the price and features are fantastic.