When Philip “Linden” Rosedale announced, once again, that he’d be leaving Linden Lab and was actively searching for a new CEO, leaving Bob Komin to replace him temporarily, some of my friends saw this as a clear sign that Linden Lab was shutting down Second Life® — and point to the ToS changes which allow LL to shut SL down without paying residents anything, refund them, or compensate them in any way.
Others immediately thought that Linden Lab would go IPO, or, well, had already been bought, and that the new owners would soon nominate a new CEO. And that the ever-growing list of “bad news” — one or two measures announced every week that will only hurt residents — would just justify the upcoming impending doom.
I personally don’t believe any of those three possibilities, because they make no sense in the light of the under-the-hood work that LL has been doing the past few weeks. In fact, even in spite of many glitches, LL is actively developing the core technology at a pace that we haven’t seen since 2006. And there might be two good reasons for it: they’re trying to match innovation and speed of development of the third-party viewers (a shameful thorn on LL’s innovative stance; innovation has been coming mostly from the TPVs, not from the ‘Lab), and they’re taking the OpenSimulator exodus as more serious than before (there is a lot to be said about this). Former Lindens are now joining the TPV developer community (like Qarl “ex-Linden” Fizz, releasing his amazing prim-alignment tool which will only be available on TPVs), or becoming part of prominent OpenSim grid operators (like Pathfinder, the new Director of Community Development for ReactionGrid, a really logical role for someone who always was very close to the educator community currently migrating to the academic-friendly ReactionGrid, which has Microsoft and IBM as partners).
So, one would expect LL to become more serious about infrastructure stabilisation and innovative new technologies — while trying to make at least a serious effort to minimise some of the more hated features of SL here and there.