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The fastest way for 100 people to view your screen

By Keith Shaw on Mon, 08/13/07 - 2:14pm.

Glance Networks today said its desktop-sharing service can now support up to 100 guests watching the same computer screen, up from its previous limit of 15 viewers. Going from 15 to 100 viewers per session greatly expands the types of things companies can do with the service – including Webinars, training sessions, sales presentations, etc.

Arlington, Mass.-based Glance says its StreamShaping technology allows for the larger sessions, "by ensuring that every guest views the host's screen at the fastest speed his or her network allows." This means guests watching on faster connections will get updates faster than those of slower networks, rather than having the slowest user slow everything down for everyone else.

The really cool part about this expansion is that there's no price change, Glance says. For individuals, the service costs $49.95 per month, with unlimited sharing sessions, and no pricing for guests. The corporate account allows for multiple concurrent sessions, and costs $119 per month.

Here's how the service works – a host signs up for a Glance account and installs a small app on the computer that they want to share. The host is then given a special Web URL, usually "http://username.glance.net". The host then starts a user session, and the system generates a 4-digit session code, which the host provides to all of the guests. Guests just head to the host URL and types in the code, and voila, they're seeing everything on the host's PC. The application works on both PCs and Macs, and guests only need to have a Web browser to see the host's screen. More important, guests don't have to install any software on their computer, or sign up for an account or remember any password other than the 4-digit code given to them by the host.

While having large Webinars with multiple guests is cool for businesses, the core feature of Glance Networks still rocks – the ability to have one-on-one desktop sharing sessions across the Internet. Let's say Mom is having a hard time figuring out her new PC. Since you're the family's tech support person (whether you like it or not), even if you're in another country you can tell Mom to open up her Web browser, conduct a sharing session with you, then walk her through the procedures for doing things on the PC. While you can't yet take over Mom's computer with Glance (the company says they're working on that feature), you can show Mom what to do in specific cases. As long as Mom knows how to turn the PC on and open a Web browser to begin a session.

Of course, $50 per month might seem a bit high to use this service for one-time-only tech support like this, but if your Mom is constantly in need of tech support, it might be worth it. Plus, Glance offers a free trial, so you could always just download that and help Mom with her PC troubles.

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