VNC vs. Microsoft NetMeeting's Shared Desktop

Wayne Throop throopw "at" sheol.org
Mon, 20 Aug 2001 08:33:35 +0000


::: I installed VNC because I thought it was the only free program out
::: there to remotely control my server.  I have the server on a Windows
::: NT4 Server, and the viewers on 2 PCs running Win98SE.  Then, I found
::: Microsoft NetMeeting's Shared Desktop.  I have compared the
::: performance of VNC with Microsoft NetMeeting's Shared Desktop, and I
::: have found the latter to be superior.  I get a better picture, a
::: lower latency, generally the same features of VNC, plus you can
::: issue a CTRL+ALT+DEL command to the server.  Before I do something I
::: would regret, what reasons are there for me not to stay with
::: NetMeeting, and uninstall VNC? 

: I don't use "unix/linux/solaris/max etc etc".
: My main concern is how to lower the latency.

If latency is an *overriding* consideration, and you know you
will *never* need to access your NT server from (say) your palmtop
device, or a public internet kiosk, or other arbitrary location,
and if you know you don't care about how easy it is to access it
remotely through firewalls, then Netmeeting is clearly superior.

VNC makes engineering tradeoffs that benefit things you said you
don't care about, but which lots of people *do* care about.  Just
so you know what you are giving up, and what you get for what
you give up.  You get improved latency and fewer "screen artifacts",
and you give up interoperability, connection simplicity including
tunneling simplicity, and ubiquity (ie, the java client, and/or
the extreme attention to making the client lightweight).

Take me as a different example.  I need to interoperate linux, solaris, 
and MSwindows, and usually I'm accessing with quite long network latency,
such that latency of the protocol itself isn't much of an issue.  VNC is
just about the only app in this niche.  One could argue that various
X protocol freeware is also in this niche, but VNC has better response
to long latency, and reacts better to dropping and reconnecting.

Another user on the same lan as I, however, always is talking between
similarly configured windows 98 machines, and has extensive file
transfer requirements.  PC anywhere is what he uses, even though
VNC is available to him.

So it goes.


Wayne Throop   throopw "at" sheol.org
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