When a company wants to show us a new product, they sometimes send over some people. But far more often lately, they simply use the telephone and the Internet to show off their program in action, while we chat back and forth over the phone.

 To do this they use a conference-call program called “GoToMeeting.” This software allows us to see their computer screen as they go through a demonstration of the product and talk to us on the phone. The software costs $39-$49 a month from, and a new enhancement makes it possible to include many people, from nearly anywhere in the world, at no charge.

 In the earlier version, you would click on the GoToMeeting icon on your computer screen to start a conference, and then click a button to send invitations to the participants. Or, you could call them up and tell them the code they should enter to join the meeting. What’s new is an option to use your computer’s microphone and speaker instead of the telephone for the audio portion of the meeting. Because everything is then being done through the Internet, the conference can go on for a presumably unlimited amount of time, with up to a thousand participants, and there are no phone costs. 

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