Will Linden Lab's Open-Sourcing Second Life Hurt Some Of Its Biggest Customers? - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Cloud
Commentary
4/18/2007
04:09 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
Commentary
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Moving UEBA Beyond the Ground Floor
Sep 20, 2017
This webinar will provide the details you need about UEBA so you can make the decisions on how bes ...Read More>>

Will Linden Lab's Open-Sourcing Second Life Hurt Some Of Its Biggest Customers?

Currently, Linden Lab's major revenue source is "land sales," leasing space on its servers for businesses and dedicated consumers to build property in Second Life. Many businesses derive revenue by turning around and renting property in-world. When Linden Lab open-sources the servers, land will become more plentiful and the value of land will decrease, thus diminishing the value of these "land barons'" investments.

Currently, Linden Lab's major revenue source is "land sales," leasing space on its servers for businesses and dedicated consumers to build property in Second Life. Many businesses derive revenue by turning around and renting property in-world. When Linden Lab open-sources the servers, land will become more plentiful and the value of land will decrease, thus diminishing the value of these "land barons'" investments.

That's a point raised by "Prokofy Neva," in a response to my earlier post about open-sourcing the Second Life servers. Neva is one of those land barons, and a well-known Second Life gadfly.

Neva says the disclosure in late March that Linden plans to open-source the server software wasn't widely reported because it's old news. Linden Lab's top brass said as much at the World Economic Forun in Davos in February.

Moreover, she says, that's always been their intention. That may be true. Certainly, for all the time that I've been in Second Life, knowledgeable users have been telling me all along that Linden Lab plans to open-source the servers. Still, when I talked to Linden Lab on Feb. 28, they told me the question had not yet been decided.

Linden Lab has never given a timetable or details on when and how Linden Lab plans to open-source the software. She also speculates that Linden Lab's favorite customers and partners -- IBM, for example -- will get access to the code first, prior to it becoming open source. And she describes how Linden Lab has been reducing services over time.

So, when the value of land plummets, how will Linden Lab derive revenue? Maybe by providing trusted services, like managing people's virtual property, said my colleague John Jainschigg, editor-in-chief of Dr. Dobb's Portal, who's up to his neck in Second Life, in a phone discussion earlier today.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll