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White Pine focuses on conferencing server

Videoconferencing software innovator White Pine Software is focusing on a new picture these days.

Videoconferencing software innovator White Pine Software is focusing on a new picture these days.

The company, best known as the maker of CU-SeeMe video software, has debuted a new version of its multimedia group collaboration server and promised that a Linux rendition will be available later in the year.

White Pine's MeetingPoint 4.0 now includes continuous presence features, which lets users view multiple video windows simultaneously on a single screen. Also new is streaming media integration, as well as support for the newest version of the Internet protocol standard H.323. The H.323 protocol is the standard that defines IP-based conferencing.

The new conferencing server also includes the T.120 protocol technology that White Pine acquired from Labtam Communications last year, enabling users to do white-boarding and data collaboration within MeetingPoint.

White Pine competes directly with RadVision and more and more with bigger software makers, like Lotus Development, which jumped into the online conferencing and real-time collaboration arena with the launch of its SameTime product.

"This is kind of a collection of things they have been rolling out slowly," said Marc Beattie, an analyst with Forward Concepts, a Massachusetts-based research firm. "Continuous presence usually exists in the switch circuit digital conferencing world. White Pine is now providing an IP-based product for continuous presence, making their product look more like what people are used to over ISDN. This is very good."

Within MeetingPoint, enhancements include compatibility with recently released H.323 clients including Microsoft NetMeeting version 3.0 and the Polycom ViewStation.

Prices for MeetingPoint 4.0 range from $8,995 to $15,995, depending on the number of user licenses needed.