The Traditional Predictions List for 2009…

I guess there is no blogger that hasn’t posted their 2009 predictions yet, to be able to boast next year about how many they’ve predicted correctly, so I’ll comply with the tradition and add mine as well…

First, a disclaimer. Yes, I’ve been reading what others have predicted, and some of them are quite along the same lines of what I think, so I’ll bow to their opinions and am grateful that they have already echoed my thoughts. I’m not planning to be original 🙂

1. Linden Lab will not launch any major features in 2009

Although for long LL’s stance has been to improve stability and performance, so this is hardly news. Expect a “SL lite” to be available for alpha-testing late in 2009. Good-bye all interesting projects like flexisculpties, shadows and mirrors, finishing up Windlight (i.e. sharing Windlight preferences), the new group interface (with, yes, more than 25 groups!), physical avatars (“puppeteering”) or new skeletons/meshes for avatars. Rumours talk about the introduction of meshes in SL and the ability to run your own grid using LL’s sim software and that will probably be all the “innovation” you can expect from LL this year.

2. OpenSim will grow significantly (but still not be a showstopper for LL)

As per my latest article, and also agreeing with Lowell Cremorne and Mark Burhop, OpenSim will reach a high level of maturity by the end of the year that will make it a feasible alternative to Second Life. Since OpenSim has little marketing force behind it, it won’t grow that much. Expect, however, that “the hundred thousand” (the ones that make SL’s economy work) will slowly migrate to OpenSim, while keeping their accounts in SL as well, and sort of “share” their online entertainment and content production time between both grids. More and more tools will make content migrate from LL’s grid to many OpenSim grids. OpenSim grid providers will quickly find out that they have no business knowledge and not enough technical expertise to be seriously in the business, and many will fail — but new ones, coming from teams of professionals and companies with a good system administration track record, will quickly fill in the void. Universities will promote the use of OpenSim as an alternative to the expensive sims on LL’s grid and the many difficulties in getting properly billed; also, the ability to run OpenSim on standard, unblocked ports, will allow OpenSim grids to be run “inside the firewall” (a major issue with many campuses) for no cost — instead of waiting for LL to allow the same.

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