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Selc

What would Linden Lab need to do to get Second Life bundled onto Windows PCs?

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Kevin O'Leary bundled his software with printers in joint-venture deals. What would Linden Lab need to do to get Second Life bundled onto Windows PCs?

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Sansar should the the answer to the pc issues facing SL.  SL is just never going to be able to be worked into a product for the masses at this point, those of us who are loyal and grateful this still exists, dump money and resources at it because it's all we have.

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Many of you think people come and leave SL because of their computers? Those weren't the main complaints from all the people I knew that have all left, maybe to never come back.

Their issues were not knowing what to do, where to go, how to do it, and wondering what there is to do anyway after they figure that out. The complaints weren't about lag, or the price of things - it was figuring out what to do other than rent a house an run a 3d Virtual chat room in it's living room.

If SL was bundled with WIndows, it would perform fine on any modern machine easily from this point on. It would also get great exposure and a new influx of new and eager members... that will leave again because of aforementioned reasons.

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t's the graphic capabilities that are included with new PCs that would scupper such an attempt. Microsoft wouldn't bundle SL with Windows because it can't be run well enough on a great many new PCs.

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Have you looked at this idea from another vantage point yet? By that I mean...the fact that many out of the box pcs today come with so much other bloatware and crap people neither need nor use, that those things(when possible) get immediately removed. In some cases folks may even have contempt for any vendor/software creator that includes such, as they deem "crap" with the pc, that they'll avoid that vendor/creator at any and all cost. It could easily backfire.

Some people may well likely see it(if it ever happened that is) and say "why did they include this game, but not this, that, or the other?".(yes, people call it that, I'm not opening up thet debate/can of worms though, that can be discussed in the hundreds of other "game/not a game" threads)  Do you see how that would NOT be beneficial for SL, LL, or retention rates? PCs would need to be made to spec to properly handle sl right out of the box, and few really are, becuase that's not really how sl works(ie, settings, preferences, etc..). Yes, they CAN handle it(most made these days can), but it's not a right out of the box situation. People buy right out of the box systems because, well, they're right ot of the box, and nearly everything they need to work immediately does so with little to no intervention on their part. 

Then there is not "not windows" systems too, of which there are plenty ;) 

A good idea in theory, perhaps, but in practice...beyond impractical and far from beneficial for most let alone all :) 

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Wow, that takes me back. O'Leary's shovelware kept me occupied during the late 1990s.

But no, Windows shouldn't be bundling applications at all in my opinion. Windows 10 flings a whole tonne of junk at the user including Skype, SkyDrive and Candy Crush. All these applications do is hassle users with ads, waste space and bloat the downloadable updates - well, and poison customer good will (doubly so for commercial customers).

Second Life also doesn't have the 'reach' required to make a positive impression on the Windows userbase - no-one cares or will care that it's been bundled, and any passing visitors that Second Life gets will be unprepared, unwilling to learn and uninterested in the opportunities Second Life offers. Candy Crush's main features include:-

  • Friendly, brightly-coloured and consistant experiences
  • Child-friendly content
  • Quick and easy to learn even for non-English speakers
  • A very quick 'time wasting' activity
  • Doesn't push the hardware or networking capabilities of the PC (risking poor performance, reflecting poorly on Windows)
  • Doesn't expose the player to an unfiltered Internet (which risks poor experience)

Any game that ships with Windows would need to appeal widely in the same way. Microsoft don't bundle Minecraft or Halo with Windows even though they own the rights to these - because they'd be unsuitable. Minecraft has online play (and chat), and Halo is aimed at teens/adults due to violence, online access and a story that requires active interest.

Second Life, too, would be unsuitable. SL is a primarily adult service, has a dramatic learning curve that requires intense time investment and - by virtue simply of it being an Internet chat service - it routinely creates controversy and exposes its users to the potential for abuse. It also takes a fairly advanced computer user to be able to troubleshoot problems with Second Life. All of this would make it incredibly risky, even dangerous for Microsoft to consider. (None of this talks about LL's avoidance of getting trapped in Microsoft's past traps - OpenGL, OGG and other technologies keep us free of Extend, Embrace and Extinguish)

Together this would - at best - further reduce popular public opinion of Second Life. In reality it would probably risk reducing popular opinion of Windows far beyond the minor annoyance that Candy Crush presents to corporate users. Second Life doesn't offer anything positive or interesting for the passing user, it doesn't channel users toward the Windows Store and it's not compatible with Microsoft's Surface or HoloLens adventures. There are no benefits to Microsoft in attempting this.

Gosh, that all sounds harsh. I feel like I should add that I flippin' love Second Life - the negatives in this scenario would be caused by incredibly poor knowledge of what encourages users to come here rather than specific issues with the platform on its own. Second Life does well when people can seek it out because they are interested in the concepts and community that's already here.

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Freya Mokusei wrote:

 

Second Life, too, would be unsuitable. SL is a primarily adult service, has a dramatic learning curve that requires intense time investment and - by virtue simply of it being an Internet chat service - it routinely creates controversy and exposes its users to the potential for abuse. It also takes a fairly advanced computer user to be able to troubleshoot problems with Second Life. All of this would make it incredibly risky, even dangerous for Microsoft to consider. (None of this talks about LL's avoidance of getting trapped in Microsoft's past traps - OpenGL, OGG and other technologies keep us free of
)


Another problem is even if masses of people decided to try Second Life, the architecture of Second Life couldn't handle the strain as it now exists. SL just wasn't designed as a mass-market thing and it can't scale up readily. Right now some destinations already fill up and lock people out with the trivial population of SL as it is now. A large population doesn't necessarily support more places, it just makes the comparatively few "hot" places need to support more people.

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Linden Lab would have to make Second Life profitable enough to afford subsidizing a seat on the Windows bloatware boat and it would have to believe that's a wise use of marketing dollars.

I think it would be easier to land people on Mars.

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:

Another problem is even if masses of people decided to try Second Life, the architecture of Second Life couldn't handle the strain as it now exists. SL just wasn't designed as a mass-market thing and it can't scale up readily. Right now some destinations already fill up and lock people out with the trivial population of SL as it is now. A large population doesn't necessarily support
more
places, it just makes the comparatively few "hot" places need to support more
people
.


This is true. My understanding of the back-end is that it's very bottom-heavy - each recently-accessed user account weighs on the overall system to the detriment of everyone else. There was a time when the servers were better equipped for high numbers of incoming people, but I fully expect that any sysadmin worth their salt would've annexed this capability by now.

On a region-to-region level too, this would prove troublesome. I don't know how many Korea sims there are now, nor how many London City contains - but I'd hazard at 'not enough'. If new users expected to be delivered to any kind of 'experience' (e.g. something from the Destination Guide) I imagine we'd be overwhelmed within a day or two.

I mean there's what, a couple hundred million or so installs of Windows 10? Even 0.01% of them playing SL would likely take out something critical.

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Selc wrote:

Kevin O'Leary bundled his software with printers in joint-venture deals. What would Linden Lab need to do to get Second Life bundled onto Windows PCs?

Nothing. Because it won't happen. Not even in a fantasy land. And also: It shouldn't happen. Second Life is not for everyone, instead it appeals to a absolute niche market. It also isn't suited for every computer. A low-end laptop/notebook can not run Second Life. And from the perspective of a Windows-user I can say that I do not want my OS to be overloaded with stuff that I didn't ask for. I only want an OS and thats it. If it came bundled with Second Life, I would find it annoying...even if I use Second Life.

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Computer specs are not the problem, and are not the sole reason people come and leave Second Life. If the user wants to play the latest Battlefield game, and lacks the specs, they will go out and upgrade their computer to do so. I've never had much problem running SL, at any point, and I am slow to upgrade and run a just-above average computer (though I know how to optimize it). If they want to 'play', they will facilitate themselves to do so. If they're lost, confused, unsure, and bored, they're just going to close SL and uninstall - its that simple.


Freya Mokusei wrote:

I feel like I should add that I flippin'
love
Second Life - the negatives in this scenario would be caused by incredibly poor knowledge of what encourages users to come here rather than specific issues with the platform on its own.
Second Life does well when people can seek it out because they are interested in the concepts and community that's already here.

Yes, whenever the subject of SL's success, decline or plateau comes up in conversation, the community generally takes to blaming the user's computer specs as being the issue, rather than the usabilty, UI, tutorials, search engines, or even the practices of land owners and creators in contributing to usability issues, lag, etc.

"Blame the user" is actually common. It excuses all discussions of how LL can improve the situation. Now they're off putting their eggs in a VR system....

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bigmoe Whitfield wrote:

really.... people are still trying to run this on 10 year old hardware.  THAT will never work.  I have to build 3 pc's in the 10 years I've been in SL.  just to keep up. 

Let's see, in the 9 years i have been here i have gone from a GT 9800 to a GTX 650Ti and upped my Memory from 6 to 18.. That's it, no great changes. Didn't cost thousands and i can run SL just fine on mid with advanced lighting and shadows on.

Personally, I think one of the big issues no one has mentioned is ISP speed. People outside the US have much slower speeds to the SL servers. Perhaps they should bring back the overseas servers?

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I listed a half-dozen bulletpoints that weren't blaming the user, nor their hardware. It wasn't practical to list every reason why people might dislike SL, but that wasn't the point of my post.

Companies choose games to bundle based on quite a few factors, the primary one that SL would fail IMO, would be ease of play - the part you bolded points the blame at SL's present culture (by nature of it being an uncontrolled online space) and development path, not the new user.

I agree with you that blaming hardware alone isn't very satisfactory, but preferably from the angle that SL has had plenty of time and opportunity to make itself more hardware-friendly (and largely, failed at this). My position wouldn't ever be that it's the new user's fault for not being able to have a high quality experience of Second Life.

O'Leary would run a mile - I'm pretty sure I've made that clear.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

People outside the US have much slower speeds to the SL servers. Perhaps they should bring back the overseas servers?



That list has nothing to do with how fast they connect to the SL servers in Arizona. Which is what i was referring to.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

People outside the US have much slower speeds to the SL servers. Perhaps they should bring back the overseas servers?



That list has nothing to do with how fast they connect to the SL servers in Arizona. Which is what i was referring to.

You're sorta right, but overseas servers would increase US resident lag. Regional servers work best when the usage is regional.

I'll add that many rural/suburban US customers get satellite internet. Satellite hops dwarf terrestrial latency.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

People outside the US have much slower speeds to the SL servers. Perhaps they should bring back the overseas servers?



That list has nothing to do with how fast they connect to the SL servers in Arizona. Which is what i was referring to.

You're sorta right, but overseas servers would increase US resident lag. Regional servers work best when the usage is regional.

I'll add that many rural/suburban US customers get satellite internet. Satellite hops dwarf terrestrial latency.

I think the problem really is with the terminology that is used.

We (really 'they') speak of 'high speed' internet.  But electrons really travel pretty much at the speed of light no matter what.  So the accurate term we should be looking at is "Bandwidth."  The bigger the pipe line the more that can flow through it at any given time.  So if I have a bigger pipe then more data can flow through it at any given time. And this does not take into account that data can get bottlenecked as it moves through servers on the internet. 

Which brings us to the other issue, "Latency."  And the further from the Servers you are the greater your latency.  Sadly I can no longer find his blog posts but in the early days of High Fidelity Philip Rosedale did  a lot of testing on how much latency was 'tolerable' in a VR environment and the answer was not very much.

 

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

People outside the US have much slower speeds to the SL servers. Perhaps they should bring back the overseas servers?



That list has nothing to do with how fast they connect to the SL servers in Arizona. Which is what i was referring to.

You're sorta right, but overseas servers would increase US resident lag. Regional servers work best when the usage is regional.

I'll add that many rural/suburban US customers get satellite internet. Satellite hops dwarf terrestrial latency.

I think the problem really is with the terminology that is used.

We (really 'they') speak of 'high speed' internet.  But electrons really travel pretty much at the speed of light no matter what.  So the accurate term we should be looking at is "Bandwidth."  The bigger the pipe line the more that can flow through it at any given time.  So if I have a bigger pipe then more data can flow through it at any given time. And this does not take into account that data can get bottlenecked as it moves through servers on the internet. 

Which brings us to the other issue, "Latency."  And the further from the Servers you are the greater your latency.  Sadly I can no longer find his blog posts but in the early days of High Fidelity Philip Rosedale did  a lot of testing on how much latency was 'tolerable' in a VR environment and the answer was not very much.

 

In human-to-human interaction there is little tolerance for latency. We can detect as little as 100ms latency in a voice conversation and we begin to complain when it exceeds 200. We all know how annoying it is to watch a remote news correspondent carry on a conversation with the news anchor via satellite link.

I responded to Drake's comment because some (many?) people think that the US must have stellar broadband service because the Internet was invented there. The truth is otherwise for both geographical and political reasons. As a result, we still have people using dial-up (2 million last year, though that number is iffy) and many using satellite (average latency over 600ms).

This is another reason I think AR becomes ubiquitous and VR stays niche.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

People outside the US have much slower speeds to the SL servers. Perhaps they should bring back the overseas servers?



That list has nothing to do with how fast they connect to the SL servers in Arizona. Which is what i was referring to.

You're sorta right, but overseas servers would increase US resident lag. Regional servers work best when the usage is regional.

I'll add that many rural/suburban US customers get satellite internet. Satellite hops dwarf terrestrial latency.

I think the problem really is with the terminology that is used.

We (really 'they') speak of 'high speed' internet.  But electrons really travel pretty much at the speed of light no matter what.  So the accurate term we should be looking at is "Bandwidth."  The bigger the pipe line the more that can flow through it at any given time.  So if I have a bigger pipe then more data can flow through it at any given time. And this does not take into account that data can get bottlenecked as it moves through servers on the internet. 

Which brings us to the other issue, "Latency."  And the further from the Servers you are the greater your latency.  Sadly I can no longer find his blog posts but in the early days of High Fidelity Philip Rosedale did  a lot of testing on how much latency was 'tolerable' in a VR environment and the answer was not very much.

 

In human-to-human interaction there is little tolerance for latency. We can detect as little as 100ms latency in a voice conversation and we begin to complain when it exceeds 200. We all know how annoying it is to watch a remote news correspondent carry on a conversation with the news anchor via satellite link.

I responded to Drake's comment because some (many?) people think that the US must have stellar broadband service because the Internet was invented there. The truth is otherwise for both geographical and political reasons. As a result, we still have people using dial-up (2 million last year, though that number is iffy) and many using satellite (average latency over 600ms).

This is another reason I think AR becomes ubiquitous and VR stays niche.

That is NOT what i said.. I said "People outside the US have much slower speeds to the SL servers." That is a Gold pressed Latinum fact. People in England will not get better speeds to the SL servers than 99% of the users within North America. Any signal that is not a direct landbased line will have slower bandwidth. The majority of internet users are not satellite or dial up.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

People outside the US have much slower speeds to the SL servers. Perhaps they should bring back the overseas servers?



That list has nothing to do with how fast they connect to the SL servers in Arizona. Which is what i was referring to.

You're sorta right, but overseas servers would increase US resident lag. Regional servers work best when the usage is regional.

I'll add that many rural/suburban US customers get satellite internet. Satellite hops dwarf terrestrial latency.

I think the problem really is with the terminology that is used.

We (really 'they') speak of 'high speed' internet.  But electrons really travel pretty much at the speed of light no matter what.  So the accurate term we should be looking at is "Bandwidth."  The bigger the pipe line the more that can flow through it at any given time.  So if I have a bigger pipe then more data can flow through it at any given time. And this does not take into account that data can get bottlenecked as it moves through servers on the internet. 

Which brings us to the other issue, "Latency."  And the further from the Servers you are the greater your latency.  Sadly I can no longer find his blog posts but in the early days of High Fidelity Philip Rosedale did  a lot of testing on how much latency was 'tolerable' in a VR environment and the answer was not very much.

 

In human-to-human interaction there is little tolerance for latency. We can detect as little as 100ms latency in a voice conversation and we begin to complain when it exceeds 200. We all know how annoying it is to watch a remote news correspondent carry on a conversation with the news anchor via satellite link.

 
<snip>


You should try Earth to Mars communication.  ;)

But sometimes the greatest latency between people is in our understanding.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

People outside the US have much slower speeds to the SL servers. Perhaps they should bring back the overseas servers?



That list has nothing to do with how fast they connect to the SL servers in Arizona. Which is what i was referring to.

You're sorta right, but overseas servers would increase US resident lag. Regional servers work best when the usage is regional.

I'll add that many rural/suburban US customers get satellite internet. Satellite hops dwarf terrestrial latency.

I think the problem really is with the terminology that is used.

We (really 'they') speak of 'high speed' internet.  But electrons really travel pretty much at the speed of light no matter what.  So the accurate term we should be looking at is "Bandwidth."  The bigger the pipe line the more that can flow through it at any given time.  So if I have a bigger pipe then more data can flow through it at any given time. And this does not take into account that data can get bottlenecked as it moves through servers on the internet. 

Which brings us to the other issue, "Latency."  And the further from the Servers you are the greater your latency.  Sadly I can no longer find his blog posts but in the early days of High Fidelity Philip Rosedale did  a lot of testing on how much latency was 'tolerable' in a VR environment and the answer was not very much.

 

In human-to-human interaction there is little tolerance for latency. We can detect as little as 100ms latency in a voice conversation and we begin to complain when it exceeds 200. We all know how annoying it is to watch a remote news correspondent carry on a conversation with the news anchor via satellite link.

I responded to Drake's comment because some (many?) people think that the US must have stellar broadband service because the Internet was invented there. The truth is otherwise for both geographical and political reasons. As a result, we still have people using dial-up (2 million last year, though that number is iffy) and many using satellite (average latency over 600ms).

This is another reason I think AR becomes ubiquitous and VR stays niche.

That is NOT what i said.. I said "People outside the US have much slower speeds to the SL servers." That is a Gold pressed Latinum fact.
People in England will not get better speeds to the SL servers than 99% of the users within North America.
Any signal that is not a direct landbased line will have slower bandwidth. The majority of internet users are not satellite or dial up.

Now that LL uses a CDN to distribute assets, I'm not sure where the actual bandwidth needs are. Nor do I know whether the 1.5Mbps server connection limit is still in place, or how the use of that is affected by offloading asset services. I suspect that bandwidth is probably a minor issue these days. Latency is what matters and so your argument is largely if not completely correct.

Your statement I highlighted in red is only true for latency, not bandwidth (bitrate).  And, even then, it's not true for 99% of North America. Nearly three million US internet users are on satellite. And locating simulators overseas doesn't elminate the problem, it just shifts the percentages. A US resident trying to interact with UK residents on a UK hosted simulator will suffer the same latency issues as when the geography is reversed. You're also contaminating your imaginary metal with a real one. ;-).

Anecdotally, I think the fastest connection available to me from TWC is 30Mbs, from AT&T it's 3Mbps. I just ran a speedtest on my iPhone via Verizon and I'm getting 34Mbps (11ms ping, same as TWC). Landline isn't always better, nor are landlines always landlines. There's still a lot of backhaul traffic flying through the air.

In theory, as no two points on the surface of the Earth can be more than ~12,450miles apart, the maximum lower bound for round trip latency is ~134ms. That's detectable.

 

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I want the Lindens to do a different thing, and I don't want to try to convince a computer company to take them.

I want the Lindens to sell a computer with their software installed and working at top performance separately.

If it costs $2000 and not $1000, which is what I usually pay for a desk top, that's fine, I'll pay it.

I want the Lindens to identify the computer that they can PROVE plays their game optimally from the mass market, i.e. not building from New Egg parts, and sell it and do maintenance and repairs and troubleshooting on it.

If they want to do the New Egg thing that's fine but they need to then streamline/mass market that process.

Maybe they would only sell a few hundred at first, but it could be important content for them to sell, so to speak.

I want them to have to sit down and make SL work on a computer like I do, not make it work on New Egg stuff.  Then having perfected that task, with the absolute right graphics card, sound card, fan for the graphics card etc etc I want them to offer THAT as the bundle (the opposite of your idea).

 

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Prokofy Neva wrote:

I want the Lindens to do a different thing, and I don't want to try to convince a computer company to take them.

I want the Lindens to sell a computer with their software installed and working at top performance separately.

If it costs $2000 and not $1000, which is what I usually pay for a desk top, that's fine, I'll pay it.

I want the Lindens to identify the computer that they can PROVE plays their game optimally from the mass market, i.e. not building from New Egg parts, and sell it and do maintenance and repairs and troubleshooting on it.

If they want to do the New Egg thing that's fine but they need to then streamline/mass market that process.

Maybe they would only sell a few hundred at first, but it could be important content for them to sell, so to speak.

I want them to have to sit down and make SL work on a computer like I do, not make it work on New Egg stuff.  Then having perfected that task, with the absolute right graphics card, sound card, fan for the graphics card etc etc I want them to offer THAT as the bundle (the opposite of your idea).

 

You know that will never happen. They would be endorsing specific companies. No company right now wants Second Life endorsing them. Nvidia, HP, Dell, Apple.. They do their own advertising and there are much bigger names than LL.

Can you name any "game" company that does bundle a PC together for you? I can't. Why should they spend all this time and money to do so when all they have to do is list off what you need to run it just like everyone else? No game company, Blizzard, WOtC, Nintendo, EA games, Squaresoft none of them sell PCs. Why would LL want to start that?

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