Microsoft announces its intention to acquire Placeware

“Microsoft Corp. today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire PlaceWare Inc., a leading provider of Web conferencing services that enable businesses to conduct real-time, interactive presentations and meetings over the Internet.” 

Saw this announcement first in Kevin Kruse’s newsletter e-learningGuru (http://www.e-learningguru.com/, where he also prognosticates that 2003 could see MS acquire Macromedia – oh please don’t let that happen!) I remember first finding Placeware in 1997 when looking for a synchronous system for Mount Royal College. We didn’t choose it as it had a bit of a price tag and I had a budget of $0, but I remember being blown away by the product at the time. Not only did it have advanced communication and presentation features, it was playing around with an auditorium model at the time that tried to locate people ‘next’ to each other in virtual space. I thought this last part was great but then never saw it again in later releases. It seemed like they moved away from Higher Ed as a target market, somewhat understandably giving the much more immense corporate training or marketing markets. Still, even if it is MS acquiring them hopefully this means they will have a future. – SWL

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Microsoft announces its intention to acquire Placeware