OnLive: “so long, and thanks for all the fish” as SL Go ends

Even ideas around offering Sl Go as a Premium offering, while simple in concept, are potentially less-than-simple to implementSL Go has officially gone. The service ceased functioning on Friday, May 1st, after some considerable speculation on exactly when the service would stop.

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.

OnLive gave notification that their services had come to an end with a message borrowed from Douglas Adams, seen by users as they attempted to log-in via the OnLive clients
OnLive gave notification that their services had come to an end with a message borrowed from Douglas Adams, seen by users as they attempted to log-in via the OnLive clients

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).

Those interested in learning more about Bright Canopy can sign-up for news on the official launch via the website, and and learn more about the service via the Bright Canopy blog.

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.