IBM, The Last Company To Pull Out Of Second Life?

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Is IBM (IBM) finally done with Second Life?

Could be: Ian Hughes, IBM’s “Metaverse Evangelist” and point man for all things IBM and Second Life, announced today on his personal blog he’s leaving IBM to start his own company.

Lots of companies experimented with Second Life marketing presences, but IBM (IBM) went full bore and embraced its tech. We’ve seen the company:

  • Take a leadership role in setting up protocols for avatars to hop out of Second Life and into other virtual worlds (an initiative that so far has largely come to naught)
  • Testify before Congress that companies can see cost savings by utilising Second Life tech
  • Set up their own private grid for hosting Second Life regions, the first company to do so
  • Integrate Second Life into their Lotus Sametime teleconferencing product

But we haven’t heard much in the past few months, as some of the buzz fades from Second Life and IBM reportedly undergoes thousands of layoffs.

We have calls into IBM PR and Ian himself. But we can’t say we’d really be surprised if IBM uses Ian’s departure as pretext to quietly back away from its once full-throated backing of Linden Lab’s virtual world.

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