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Reduced travel budgets, cheap technology and ample broadband connections
have helped to create interest in simple videoconferencing solutions. Skype has
led the way in building that interest, and its video service is being used by
popular TV shows, such as Oprah Winfrey, Millionaire and others.

With a renewed emphasis on video, it only makes sense for businesses to
consider using many free products for ad-hoc videoconferencing. While the list
of free videoconferencing services is growing, it is still pretty hard to beat
Skype as a starting point for diving into the intricacies of desktop PC-based
videoconferencing, especially now that Version 4 has arrived.

But, there are a couple of catches—Skype is only free for Skype-to-Skype
calls and Skype only supports one-to-one videoconferencing. Those limitations
have greased the wheels for other players to grab some mindshare, and Skype is
no longer the only game in town.

Solution providers will find that instant profits may be hard to come by and
appreciable margins may be a thing of the past, yet videoconferencing still
proves to be an excellent way to demonstrate advanced capabilities and pave the
way for commercial solutions.

Aggressive integrators will choose to roll out some of those free services
just to introduce a business to IP videoconferencing and demonstrate the value
of the service. After all, videoconferencing is a lot like potato chips—you
can’t just have one.

The following is Channel Insider’s analysis of the leading free videoconferencing
options available to solution providers.