Here is a summary of what we know so far about ‘NeXT Life’, copied shamelessly from Jessica Lyon’s post on the Firestorm Viewer blog:
The current plan is that the new platform will not be open source at least initially. (This means there will be no Third Party Viewer alternatives at least initially, and there will be a new viewer built by LL.) This could change over the course of time.
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LL intends to continue maintaining and developing Second Life while they develop the new platform and will operate them in parallel even after the new platform is launched. SL will remain as long as it is profitable for LL to continue operating it.