The Shareware Review People

ICQ 98a Beta
Net Meeting version

icqg.gif (7968 bytes)

Type of Program: Internet Paging / Chat
Supported Platforms: Windows 95 / NT / NT 3.5x /CE / 3.1, PowerMac, 68K Mac, Java
Company Name: Mirabilis
Version: 98a Beta NM
Price:Free (for now)
Installed Size: Approx 1.5 Mb


I use ICQ 98a Beta NM, where NM stands for Net Meeting. I had the ICQ 98a Beta version of before, loved it so much that I kept checking back on the Mirabilis homepage to find updates (hopefully FREE !). I thought I was in luck when in early May I saw this Net Meeting version. I hoped that it would be one that interfaced with NM better than before. Alas, apart from putting the NM icon besides the name of the ICQ buddy with whom I was chatting in NM, I could see no real difference. Still, I didn't lose any functionality over the previous version, so I kept it. But for those wondering, there is really little difference between the NM and the non-NM versions.

Now onto what is great about ICQ (if you haven't heard about it by word of mouth as yet...and if you haven't, where do you live ??). ICQ (for I Seek You) is an internet paging/chat facility through which you can keep the tabs on your friends and family, as well as gain the opportunity to meet other ICQ users worldwide (trust me ICQ users are EVERYWHERE now). Once you have put someone on your ICQ Contact List, you can configure your settings to determine whether or not you want an audible announcement of your pal coming online, You can determine whether your pal can "see" you online or not, you can launch an IRC-like real-time chat, launch games you both can play and a variety of internet phone software (provided you have the software on your PC, naturally). What's great also is the way ICQ integrates with Windows Explorer. Click on a file in Explorer and one of the drop-down menu options is file transfer to any of the buddies on your contact list that are online at that moment. One can also send URLs to other users with one mouse click. In fact, you can do pretty much everything on ICQ with just a click of the mouse.

Another feature I just added to my personal webpage, thanks to ICQ, is a way for visitors to your web page to send you a message, from the page itself, that you receive via ICQ...It's sort of like a brief email but with the potential for anonymity...The sender only has to leave whatever information about himself he chooses to...What a great way to say "Nice Homepage" without the bother of an email !

This software is easy and becomes addictive real fast! You will soon wonder how you existed without this software before. The only downside I see, is that now with so many people using the software, performance has slowed, and some rare nights can be spent connecting and disconnecting. At least ICQ reconnects on its own 99% of the time.

User Friendly
Cost Free (for the time being)
Ease of Installation
Support (near impossible to get online help, as the servers are stretched to the limit)
Reviewed by Audrey Locke

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