Yeah, we have all heard the rumors and speculation. If you are into drama, there are a number flaming threads on the Second Life blogrum where wild speculation runs wild. But, we still have no solid information, we are still dealing with opinion and speculation. In regard to speculation Gwyneth Llewelyn has a new article this morning. It is so far the best example of the application of intelligence to make a rational speculation.
See: Microsoft Life?
The summary of the article is simple, we may never know if Microsoft made an offer. However, Gwyneth explains why Microsoft might make an offer and also why they would not buy Second Life. After all, Microsoft is already playing with OpenSIM and it is free open source.
The servers are completely the opposite of what Microsoft likes: they are developed natively for Debian Linux and the backend is MySQL, and they’re un-portable to Microsoft’s technology. By contrast, Microsoft is active in developing for OpenSim… because it’s a Mono application, close enough to Microsoft .NET and fully compatible with it. It doesn’t cost anything to launch their own OpenSim grid, and if they put the Microsoft marketing power behind that, they won’t need Second Life’s brand awareness at all.
A point she makes is Linden Lab is a profitable venture capital funded company and has remained so for about 10 years. It is highly likely that some of the VC partners would like to cash out. Gwyneth points this out and I agree it is the norm for VC investors. We can’t know the circumstances of the various VC partners. What we can consider is the economy. With businesses failing parking ones cash in a profitable company that it appears will survive the recession/depression is an attractive option. Unless a VC partner needs cash, likely, or has some hot place to put the money, unlikely, staying invested in Linden Lab for now may be the smart move.
Obviously, the speculation can go on indefinitely. The more we know and the aspects of the scenario we consider, the more likely we are to correctly anticipate what is coming. At least Gwyneth’s thinking on the subject seems well thought out to me.