Dear WebEx, It is 2007

<rant> Dear WebEx, please help your product become less sucky. We live in a web world. People use different web browsers, different Java versions, different OS platforms, and some people even (gasp) have smartphones. I had a horrible experience with your product today. Bad enough for me to spend the time writing this rant. Bad enough that I will now to my best to cancel or avoid any meeting requiring me to join a WebEx meeting.

I think we’ve all had other challenges and bad experiences with your product in the past. For me this relationship has got to end unless you can change. I ‘ll no longer budget 10 extra minutes to get into a WebEx meeting, and then be distracted for the first 15 minutes of my co-workers actual meeting as I install, cancel, uninstall, reinstall, check and change browser settings, get Java versions, then download WebEx Meeting Manager, deal with WebEx support and eventually give up on the WebEx meeting.

The recurring Java and ActiveX hassles I had with the WebEx Windows versions a few years were a recurring mild annoyance. The fact that it is 2007 and WebEx still offers only a 2003 PowerPC version for Mac was the last straw. You’ve known about this for quite awhile. It’s embarrassing. You are no longer the only one scaleable and available. Have a little respect for yourself and your victims/users. You are Cisco now for heavens sake. It is not me, it is you. Yeah, sure, maybe we can still be friends.

PS: WebEx competitors, no need to get all smug and happy yet. I’m still looking for something that will exceed WebEx features and works reliably and well on Mac and Windows and Linux, with at least 2 browsers on each platform.

PPS: Besides geeks like me, a couple hundred thousand kids will get OLPC Linux machines. They’re selling USD $2 million worth of those things each day for the last few weeks with Give One, Get One. Look into getting those kids and their governments a solution. Might even be good for your business. Even Microsoft is starting to think that way about OLPC.

PPPS: The world has a couple billion mobile phones. Pretty much enough for each of us who can use one, to have two. We use them. A lot. Please figure out how to easily, centrally (?automatically) mute the call from the guy walking past the leaf blower or breathing like Darth Vader. When you’ve got that licked, see about getting at least a slide show or still shot screen sharing on 3-4 types of Smartphones– a couple million of us will be happier.
</rant>