Microsoft prepares screen-sharing tool for consumers

What's this...another screen-sharing collaboration tool from Microsoft?

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft is hard at work on a new consumer-targeted screen-sharing and collaboration tool, code-named Tahiti. Microsoft's landing page describes it as an "easy way to share documents and screen views with small groups of friends or coworkers; anytime, anywhere."

Each group member is assigned a mouse pointer and an editing color when working the group works together on Office documents. There's also a feature called 'handouts,' which is a storage space for documents or files you want to share with the group. The tool has no integrated voice or chat features, but Microsoft will likely add Windows Live Messenger support to future builds.

This is a step in the right direction for Microsoft, although it's a little confusing as the company already has three separate group collaboration applications: Net Meeting, Windows Meeting Space, and Groove Virtual Office. (We'll admit that Groove, priced at $200, isn't exactly casual and consumer-friendly).

There's also some competition brewing in this space on the Web side of things, as we saw at the Under the Radar conference last week. Competitors like Yugma (previous coverage), offer nearly all these features (in some cases more), and have Mac support, too.

There's no news on how much Tahiti will cost, or when it will be released.

[via ZDNet]