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Cisco, Macromedia team on Web conferencing

The networking giant's forthcoming "Cisco MeetingPlace Express" incorporates Macromedia's Breeze program.

A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.
Cisco Systems is readying a new Web conferencing program for medium-size companies and has agreed to license technology from Macromedia as part of the effort.

Cisco plans to release the software, called Cisco MeetingPlace Express, by the end of the year, the company said Tuesday. The product will deliver audio and Web conferencing capabilities and incorporate Macromedia's Web conferencing program, Breeze, the companies said.

Breeze, which Macromedia introduced nearly two years ago, competes with WebEx and Microsoft's LiveMeeting service. The main advantage of Breeze is that people who have already downloaded Macromedia's Flash Web animation software don't need any other programs to use the Web conferencing service. More than 95 percent of all computers with Web connections have Flash, according to executives at Macromedia, which is being bought by Adobe Systems.

Cisco's new product builds on Cisco's MeetingPlace software, which is designed for large companies and starts at about $70,000. MeetingPlace Express is intended for companies with fewer than 1,500 employees and supports online chat and voice over IP.

Cisco has yet to finalize the price of the new Express version, which allows for as many as 120 users at a time, said Troy Trenchard, director of product management at Cisco.

On Monday, Cisco introduced new phone and network equipment aimed at companies with between 20 and 250 workers.

Correction: This story misstated some of the capabilities of the Cisco MeetingPlace Express Web conferencing product.