As most, if not all, SL Go users are aware, notice that the service – along with OnLive’s other cloud services – would be coming to an end was given early in April, after OnLive decided to sell its portfolio of patents to Sony Computer Entertainment America. Way this came about is explained in a blog post from OnLive’s main investor (and former Chairman), Gary Lauder, and I also covered the reasons in a blog post of my own.
While it has originally be thought that SL Go would be popular as a means of access Second Life from tablets and while on the move in the physical world, it actually turned out that the service gained significant traction among those users accessing Second Life (and OpenSim, with the arrival of Firestorm as a supported viewer within SL Go), from low specification computers and laptop, as it enabled people to enjoy the full graphical richness of Second Life in a manner that would otherwise be beyond the capabilities of their hardware, and with few significant issues.
So what now for those people?
At the moment, the most likely alternative on the horizon is Bright Canopy, which will allow users to access Second Life and OpenSim through a conventional web browser. Again, as many people who have used SL Go know, Bright Canopy is currently undergoing beta testing, and it is hoped that a broader, invitation-only pre-launch testing phases will be starting soon, with a formal launch to follow thereafter.
Like SL Go from OnLive, it is important to recognise that Bright Canopy is not endorsed by Linden Lab, but is effectively a third-party viewer service. As it is also being streamed (via Amazon G2 servers initially), there will obviously be a cost involved in using it, and prices have yet to be confirmed. Also, the service is likely to take time to grow – initially, it will be run using Amazon’s servers in the USA, although the plan is to leverage other data centres as time progresses (Bright Canopy is facilitated by Frame, who already use Amazon’s data centres on both the west and east coasts of the USA, plus Ireland, Australia, Singapore and Japan).
In the meantime, and once again – as an SL go user myself, particularly when my main PC was in hospital for an extended period earlier this year, my thanks once again to Dennis, Jeff, Shae, Jersey, Robby and everyone else at OnLive involved in SL Go – including Jane Anderson in the US and Mark Bevan here in the UK – for striving to make it an outstanding service.
In the interests of disclosure, I am involved in providing support to Bright Canopy and in helping to administer the Bright Canopy blog. However, I am not officially involved in the management and operation of the company itself.