The Live Meeting web conferencing service has padded out its licensing models with named users, virtual meeting rooms and blocks of monthly minutes.
Microsoft previously offered web conferencing only on a per-minute basis or through unnamed user licensing (which limited the maximum number of participants at any one time).
The named user model is for heavy web conferencers, such as salespeople. Meeting rooms are good for events or newcomers to web conferencing, while monthly minute bundles can be cheaper for prepayers.
"Customers are very receptive to the new models," said Jennifer Callison, Live Meeting product manager. "We try to understand their usage pattern and then match the pricing model with their needs."
Microsoft has renamed its Presenter and Premier Live Meeting product levels as Standard Edition and Professional Edition, respectively, to fit with Office's naming conventions. Professional Edition also comes with application sharing control, recording and printing of meeting content.
Microsoft entered the web conferencing fray when it bought PlaceWare last year. According to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. WebEx controlled 67% of the market last year, far ahead of Microsoft's 16.5%. Cisco and Raindance Communications are also major players in the rapidly growing market.
Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service