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IBM and Linden Lab Launch Collaboration to Further Advance the 3D Internet


SAN JOSE, Calif. - 10 Oct 2007: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Linden Lab®, creator of the virtual world Second Life® (www.secondlife.com), today announced the intent to develop new technologies and methodologies based on open standards that will help advance the future of 3D virtual worlds.

IBM in Second Life photo

IBM and Linden in Push for Open, Integrated 3-D 'Net: Two IBM employees -- represented by their 3-D avatars -- have a discussion prior to a business meeting at the IBM Open Source and Standards office in the virtual world Second Life. IBM and Linden Labs today announced they will work with a broad community of partners to drive open standards and interoperability to enable avatars -- the online persona of visitors to these online worlds -- to move from one virtual world to another with ease, much like you can move from one website to another on the Internet today. The companies see many applications of virtual world technology for business and society in commerce, collaboration, education, training and more.

As more enterprises and consumers explore the 3D Internet, the ecosystem of virtual world hosts, application providers, and IT vendors need to offer a variety of standards-based solutions in order to meet end user requirements. To support this, IBM and Linden Lab are committed to exploring the interoperability of virtual world platforms and technologies, and plan to work with industry-wide efforts to further expand the capabilities of virtual worlds.

"As the 3D Internet becomes more integrated with the current Web, we see users demanding more from these environments and desiring virtual worlds that are fit for business," said Colin Parris, vice president, Digital Convergence, IBM. "BM and Linden Lab's working together can help accelerate the use and further development of common standards and tools that will contribute to this new environment."

"We have built the Second Life Grid as part of the evolution of the Internet," said Ginsu Yoon, vice president, Business Affairs, Linden Lab. "Linden and IBM shares a vision that interoperability is key to the continued expansion of the 3D Internet, and that this tighter integration will benefit the entire industry. Our open source development of interoperable formats and protocols will accelerate the growth and adoption of all virtual worlds."

IBM and Linden Lab plan to work together on issues concerning the integration of virtual worlds with the current Web; driving security-rich transactions of virtual goods and services; working with the industry to enable interoperability between various virtual worlds; and building more stability and high quality of service into virtual world platforms. These are expected to be key characteristics facing organizations which want to take advantage of virtual worlds for commerce, collaboration, education and other business applications.

More specifically, IBM and Linden Lab plan to collaborate on:

IBM is actively working with a number of companies in the IT and virtual world community on the development of standards-based technologies. This week IBM hosted an industry wide meeting to discuss virtual world interoperability, the role of standards andthe potential of forming an industry wide consortium open to all. This meeting is expected to also begin to address the technical challenges of interoperability and required and recommended standards.  

Linden Lab has formed an Architecture Working Group that describes the roadmap for the development of the Second Life Grid. This open collaboration with the community allows users of Second Life to help define the direction of an interoperable, Internet-scale architecture.

For more information about the Second Life Grid visit http://secondlifegrid.net/. The Second Life community maintains information about the Architecture Working Group at http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Architecture_Working_Group.

About IBM

For more information about IBM, please visit www.ibm.com.

About Second Life
Second Life is a 3D online world with a rapidly growing population from 100 countries around the globe, in which the Residents themselves create and build the world, which includes homes, vehicles, nightclubs, stores, landscapes and clothing.

The Second Life Grid is a sophisticated development platform created by Linden Lab, a company founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale, to create a revolutionary new form of shared 3D experience. The former CTO of RealNetworks, Rosedale pioneered the development of many of today’s streaming media technologies, including RealVideo. In April 2003, noted software pioneer Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation, was named Chairman. Based in San Francisco, Linden Lab employs a senior team bringing together deep expertise in physics, 3D graphics and networking.

Note to editors: Second Life® and Linden Lab® are registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc.

Contact(s) information

Steven Tomasco
IBM Media Relations
914.945.1655 (o)
917.687.4588 (m)
stomasc@us.ibm.com

Linden Lab Press Office
LEWIS PR for Linden Lab
415.992.4434

secondlife@lewispr.com

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Images

IBM AND LINDEN IN PUSH FOR OPEN, INTEGRATED 3-D 'NET: Two IBM employees -- represented by their 3-D avatars -- have a discussion prior to a business meeting at the IBM Open Source and Standards office in the virtual world Second Life. IBM and Linden Labs today announced they will work with a broad community of partners to drive open standards and interoperability to enable avatars -- the online persona of visitors to these online worlds -- to move from one virtual world to another with ease, much like you can move from one website to another on the Internet today. The companies see many applications of virtual world technology for business and society in commerce, collaboration, education, training and more.

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