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How to Collaborate with Windows Meeting Space

So you've heard that you can collaborate with others using Windows Meeting Space. But what does that really mean? It means that can set up an online meeting with friends and coworkers over a local area network (LAN), and even with those who just happen to be nearby. During your Meeting Space meeting, you can share desktops, files, and even programs with your fellow collaborators.

Windows Meeting Space isn't included with Windows Vista Home Basic. If you have the Home Basic version, you're stuck with a conference call or, worse comes to worst, actually getting together and physically meeting in the same room. If you have Vista Home Premium or one of the business versions, kick off your shoes and enjoy Meeting Space.

Once you've set up a Meeting Space meeting (which you can find out about elsewhere on this Web site), you can do the following things:

  • Click the Share a Program or Your Desktop link. Meeting Space asks whether you want other people to see your desktop in their Meeting Space windows. When you click the OK button, you’re given an opportunity to share either your desktop or a particular file.

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    If you're sharing your desktop, you can, at any time, do one of the following:

    • Allow other participants to take control of your desktop. Click the Give Control icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. This enables you to relinquish control, much as you would in Remote Assistance.

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    • Connect to a networked projector from Meeting Space. You'll find this under the Options icon in the upper-right corner.

    • Click the Show Me How My Shared Session Looks on Other Computers link. It’s kind of a hall-of-mirrors effect. You see a window with a window with a window of your desktop.

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Whether you're sharing your desktop or watching someone else's, you can participate in the meeting easily:

  • Send handouts to all the participants by clicking the Add a Handout link. Meeting Space makes a copy of the original file and sends the copy to all the participants. They can make changes, which will be reflected in all the other participants’ copies — but the original remains untouched.

  • Send a note to any single participant. Right-click the participant’s name and choose Send a Note. Compose the note in text or “ink.” Ink lets you hand-write notes, which can be quite a challenge for mouse-bound folks.

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