Polycom's desktop IP videoconferencing device available that features higher datarate support and better video quality in poor lighting conditions. The ViaVideo II began shipping this week from Polycom resellers with a price tag of around $599. Version two of the desktop unit now contains a CCD image sensor similar to the one used in camcorders, making image quality in low or bad lighting conditions better. Polycom also upped the maximum datarate supported to 512K bit\/sec. Previously, conferences up to 384K bit\/sec were supported. The company also added support for the Polycom Video Error Concealment (PVEC) protocol that is said to help mask degraded image quality that results from network latency and dropped packets.\nThere's a new generation of the In addition to ViaVideo II, Polycom also rolled out the latest version of WebOffice for those that want to create "virtual offices" for launching and conducting online meetings. WebOffice is now more of a portal offering that ties together many Polycom product lines including cameras, Web conferencing and gateways. Using an instant messenger-like buddy list, users can see who's online and whether or not they have a ViaVideo unit attached to their machine. A conference, including a multipoint video conference, can be launched by selecting out of the buddy list to invite to the meetings. Multipoint require that one of Polycom's MGC gateways be installed. WebOffice can be used for pure Web conferencing as well, with slide viewing, application sharing, annotation and chat features built in. WebOffice runs on a Windows 2000 server and can be accessed via a Web browser or with a locally installed applications. Pricing starts at about $600 per user.