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P2P Collaboration

And then there's P2P collaboration to consider. Over the past few years, a lot of effort has been put into creating platforms for peer-to-peer collaboration—in some cases, attempts to create a new model for information sharing to rival Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange/SharePoint.

To date, none of the P2P collaboration platforms we're aware of have provided a Mac option. The most widely used P2P collaboration platform, the Groove Virtual Office, is built around Microsoft-standard technologies—and despite years of talk, publisher Groove Networks doesn't seem ready to release a Mac OS-compatible version. (Microsoft acquired Groove in March 2005.)

Users who are sincerely interested in Mac-based P2P models might want to try Near-Time Flow, which uses a P2P distribution mechanism to share documents, web pages, images, and files among groups. Unlike most of the products discussed in this article, Flow isn't free; it starts at $99/unit.

Another option is Java-based collaboration frameworks such as Onobee, a distributed collaboration and secure, real-time communications suite; or Colloquia, which is software designed to facilitate group working and group learning through shared workspaces.

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