Join.me – it’s LogMeIn’s “popular free screen sharing and online meeting app”, which the company also bills as being “a ridiculously simple screen sharing tool for meetings on the fly”.
Available in free and paid versions, with the free version offering internet calling, screen sharing, up to 250 viewers/participants, share control, multi-monitor, chat, send files, and being able to join via iPad, iPhone and Android, this is now joined by Windows 8 in all its incarnations – and presumably on its way for the Windows Phone 8 store, too.
The pro version includes even more features from window sharing to international conference lines and a stack in between, and while it costs US$19 per month or US$149 per year, if you need those extra features, it looks like compelling pricing for what’s on offer while having the very capable free version that suits most general sharing needs at up to 250 users.
It’s also a good example of the coming world of Metro apps for Windows and the Windows Store, just as happened for iOS, and it will be through sheer force of numbers as a lot of Windows 8 machines are expected to sell simply by virtue of being the successor to Windows 7, and with Windows user by a billion people worldwide.
Just as the iPad delivers a standardised, feature rich multitouch and sensor-equipped platform in very large numbers for developers to innovate for, so too does Windows 8 bring this opportunity to Windows RT ARM-powered tablets and Windows 8 Pro Intel/AMD tablets, ultrabooks, ultrabook tablet hybrids, from ultraportable designs through to high-res big screen support and everything in between.
There’s a tsunami of Windows 8 designs on the way to offer the best, most unified desktop, mobile and tablet experiences in the one device, with Microsoft’s own Surface Tablet and a range of MacBook Air-like “hybrid tablet/ultrabooks” are on the way for that October 26 Windows 8 RTM launch, with plenty more designs on the way for 2013 – all of which will be able to run the join.me app and its successors in a standard way.
While Android tablets deliver this, and join.me is on Android too, Android tablets haven’t taken off anywhere near as quickly as iPads, and only now with the Google Nexus 7 tablet is Google finally striking back in a point-making way.
Still, even though Apple will continue to sell iPads, PC OEMs are still selling Windows computers – sales haven’t stopped – and if Windows 8 and tablet/ultrabook hybrids are plentiful and attractive, actually useful and fast devices – they should finally sell in the number that Microsoft always intended – and used as tablets when desired, and if preferred, with keyboard and mouse as desired – and so it looks clear this is just one of many Windows 8 Store app launches to come.
In launching the app, LogMeIn’s Director of Collaboration Products, Lou Orfanos spoke of Windows 8 respresenting “great platform opportunity for us to deliver the benefits of instant, ad-hoc screen sharing and online meetings to the modern, multi-device professional”, with the “the elegant nature of join.me and Windows 8” offering “a foundation for what we believe can be a fundamental shift in the way people meet online and share information.”
Microsoft Senior Director of Windows Partners and Developers, John Richards, explained of LogMeIn’s join.me app “offers a great example of how app developers are able to quickly create useful apps that take advantage of Windows 8 functionality, and how he sees “join.me’s on-the-fly collaboration benefits as a natural complement to the new generation of on-the-go hardware and software possible with Windows 8.”
So, there you have it. With three months to go, Windows 8 Store app launch season has only just begun!