Following-on from the announcement that Second Life will soon be available through Steam, it appears the viewer itself is going through some small changes in order for it to be better used with SL.
Yesterday, I downloaded the latest Development version of the viewer. As per usual, I performed a clean install, removing the older version & the associated user and log files. On starting the viewer, I was surprised to see the log-in screen displayed with an additional pop-up:
Clicking Create Account pops-up the familiar “Do you want to open your web browser” dialogue box, prior to taking you (on clicking OK) to the SL sign-up page. I confess I have not (as yet) run through th actual sign-up process to see if that has changed in preparation for the Steam tie-in, but I’ll be doing so around the time the tie-in is announced as being live, if only out of curiosity.
Clicking Continue from the prompt will allow you to log-in using an existing account, and the prompt to sign-up is not repeated the next time you launch the viewer.
Alongside the new pop-up message, the actual log-in area of the viewer splash screen has been tidied-up and made more presentable.
Assuming these changes are a part of the preparations for the link-up with Steam, they would appear to answer how users coming to Second Life via Steam will be directed to the sign-up pages. As such, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, will be done to make at least the initial sign-up page more informative as to what Second Life is, or whether this will be handled directly through the SL page(s) on Steam itself (I personally suspect the latter).