Conferral review: Conferral

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CNET Editors' Rating

2.5 stars OK
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Nicely integrated with Microsoft Office; easy to learn; inexpensive.

The Bad No text chat or audio- or videoconferencing features; no two-way document editing.

The Bottom Line We'd like to see more interactive features built into Conferral, so you're currently better off with another Web conferencing app.

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Conferral

Editor's note: On August 8, after this review posted, Conferral released version 1.1, which now includes two-way document editing and video streaming. These enhancements did not alter our rating for the service. (10/19/05)

Conferral is by far the most affordable Web conferencing program we've tested. Unlike better-known competitors such as Microsoft Live Meeting and WebEx Meeting Center, Conferral users don't shell out monthly fees to use the service, but rather pay a one-time purchase price of $299 to $4,485 (depending on the number of users, from 1 to 25). By comparison, Live Meeting 2005 costs from $180 to $4,500 annually, depending on the features and number of users selected. While Conferral is definitely a bargain, it has several shortcomings--no text chat, audioconferencing, or two-way document editing, to name a few--and that greatly limits its value. Our take: Conferral has potential but is still wet behind the ears. We'd like to see more features built into the product before we can recommend it.


Conferral 1.0 adds its Confer menu to Excel, PowerPoint (pictured), and Word, making it easy to start an online meeting from inside an Office program.

Like Live Meeting 2005, Conferral integrates nicely with Microsoft Office. During download and installation, which takes about 10 minutes, Conferral adds its Confer menu to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. It also inserts a Confer toolbar into Outlook, thereby making it easy to schedule meetings.


Conferral displays PowerPoint shows online. Note the thumbnail images on the left--handy for jumping between slides.

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Where to Buy

Conferral

Part Number: ISCONFERRAL Released: May. 18, 2005

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date May. 18, 2005