My posting on Expanding Grids
generated a lot of comments on-line and off-line. OpenSim advocates point to IBM's recently release 3D Data Center
as a validation of OpenSim's abilities. Certainly, I would not debate that when used in a narrowly constrained specific use case for 3D visualization of data that OpenSim can be used successfully. But the best potential for business transformation from virtual worlds comes from their Massively Multiplayer Online aspect. And to play in that field OpenSim will have t o be enterprise ready and cross functional with Second Life in order to leverage it's millions of users, tens of millions of pre-built objects, and hundreds of thousands of lines of scripting code. It's not there yet. But how far away is it?One of my colleagues bet me that OpenSim would surpass Second Life within a year. I pointed out that it depends on your standards and that many OpenSim advocates were already claiming it had surpassed Second Life. Metrics, metrics, metrics. You can't make quantitative comparisons without metrics. So, to that end, we came up with the following metric to compare Second Life and OpenSim:How many Fortune 500 companies have their primary Virtual World presence based on a Second Life, OpenSim, or other server?
You can't really have a business today without a web page. Even my local pizzaria
has a web page. As virtual worlds become more mainstream companies will be expected to have a virtual presence. A large number of Fortune 500 companies do. Most of these, but not all, are in Second Life. None are on OpenSim. But this is a metric I'm happy to live with. I'll track in this blog what Fortune 500 companies have virtual presences and what domain they have chosen. On August 31st, 2009 we'll do the count and either my colleague or I will be the winner of the terms of the bet: a bright shiny US penny.