Monday, 4 October 2010
MS to buy LL, the yes and the nos
The reasons no can be summed up in two points. Firstly Second Life is just too strange a place for Microsoft to want to buy. There is too much strange sex and furries in SL and Microsoft would never want it. My experience with Web 2.0 utterly dismisses this one for me, companies have no trouble censoring spaces and moving out expression they don't like, and Linden Labs has moved in that direction.
The other point is that Linden Labs economy is going so poorly. But that cuts both ways. Linden Labs would be more willing to accept a offer because its future is in question, and the price would be right. Microsoft has the ability to keep Linden Labs alive forever.
Also there are some real reasons MS would want LL. Microsoft seems to be buying in to the Social Gaming space, either for Xbox or Xbox Windows platform. If they are going to buy this getting LL will make Microsoft the leader in the field.
I also think some things LL has done look like pro-Microsoft systems. Specifically the way Viewer 2 is laid out, it looks and feels a lot like a Office communications UI. Like a word document in SharePoint presence and structure are on the left hand side. Messages and IMs pop up on the left hand corner. The layout is very Microsoft like, maybe that is just standard UI, but Viewer 2 would be a great deal easier to integrate in to OFFICE than Emerald would have been.
Yes you read this here first. Viewer 2 as a potential part of Office in the future.
I guess the main thing you have to say at the end is that the Microsoft buy just does not "feel" right. Most times the world confirms to our feelings, but not always.
Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life