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Microsoft Tahiti gets new name, goes open beta

Get our first impressions on a new developing tool--Microsoft's free screen-sharing tool goes public with its beta test.

      Microsoft's Tahiti project (not to be confused with the forthcoming Fiji update for Vista), has been given a new name this morning. Now known as SharedView, the 3MB download is available to anyone who wants it, assuming they've got a Windows Live ID, a Windows PC, and collaborators willing to install it.

      It's a little early for a hands-on with SharedView, but it feels polished for a work in progress. Here are my impressions so far:

    • Sending invites to join SharedView is fairly simple, although Microsoft assumes you're using their services, including Windows Live Hotmail and Live Messenger. If not, SharedView provides you with an 8-digit code that can be passed to anyone else who wants to join. I'd like to see a more open-source approach here, perhaps a built-in e-mail tool instead of it jettisoning you out to Hotmail.

    • Group size is pretty generous for a free tool. Groups can have up to 15 participants in a session, and share related meeting files, which Microsoft calls "handouts." The total storage for these shared files is capped at 100MB. Microsoft is also a little lenient on individual file sizes, as I was able to upload an 80MB video file without a problem.

    • Swapping between windows and screens you want to share is intuitive. You can also see a preview of what other people are seeing in a tiny window. Very cool.

      More as this application develops. I like what I see already, although the lack of text or voice chat keeps it from competing with some of the more serious players, including Microsoft's own Office Live Meeting.

      Previous SharedView

      [via Download Squad via Digital Inspiration]