One of the things I have heard for years, (no not that SL's death is imminent which I have heard since 2004) is that the reason why Linden Lab can't repair half the problems with SL such as voice, group chat, lag and so on are due to the original rather shoddy code that the entire world is based upon. So essentially the foundation of our house is made of rubber balls for some reason, and they try to fix a wobble in the kitchen table. They really have to fix the balls first, yet that meant tearing down the house, which would have been a fatal course of action at the hype time of SL.
It all makes sense though now. The TOS debacle where they stated that they own everything we do, say or think. I believe that they have been testing the transfer of our content for a while now, and they don't need to ask permission to do this because ... well they own it equally to us. And that's fine nobody cares about that. Something else that makes sense to me now is the seemingly odd choices of "improvements" to Second Life. For example, pathfinding. Mr Zippers is a pathfinding wonder, perhaps the best use of pathfinding so far in Second Life. The reason why Mr Zippers is so remarkable is because I stopped trying to script it myself and asked a particularly talented scripter named Wolfur Windstorm to do it. I could go on for ages why it is remarkable scripting, but most of the reasons aren't obvious. But for example pathfinding objects get stuck. They climb a hill and get stuck, they meet another pathfinding object and get stuck sometimes and so on. One thing Wolfur did to help Mr Zippers chase people up hills while not getting mired down, was to allow him to recognize when he was in trouble, then have him turn physical, jump in the air and roll down the hill, then once on flat ground he would activate again and go on his merry psychotic way. What an novel idea to overcome that problem. Anyway, so for pathfinding to work beyond simple use, it required a master scripter! Seems odd to make something for such a small group of people. Then you look at the new Materials. They require people to be in ultra graphics mode to see it. Most people don't regularly wander about on full graphics because its laggy.. so why spend so much time on something so few will use or see? Well I think because these features were made to work in Second Life 2.0, yet they could also be ported to Second Life and so they were. I think some things are made specifically for upgrading SL while other things were made for SL2.0, but could also be made to work in SL as well.
While it would be sad for me if SL were to close, specifically from the loss of so many personal artworks I have created over several years, I don't really think it will close. SL will continue while its profitable, if it were becoming less profitable then I suspect Linden Lab would sell it. And if not then I expect it would join the hypergrid (with open sim, inworlds, kitely and so on) and they would open up marketplace to all of them as well. Ebbe Linden (Linden Lab CEO) said a while ago that he liked the idea of the hypergrid, so if that's his true opinion then which product would join the other virtual spaces on the hypergrid? Not the new one in the works as it might not be open source and compatible, so it has to be Second Life. Will the new fancy world with spectacular graphics, low lag and game mechanics make everyone move to it? Hmmm.. well maybe ask Cloud Party and Blue Mars why their "better" worlds are dead while the dated SL continues? There is something special about SL and just creating a new virtual world might not capture what people desire, so I think Linden Lab are quite aware that SL must always be a reliable plan B, because letting it go and then having SL2.0 just not work with people for whatever reason (similar to cloud party and blue mars) then it remains as something to fall back upon, ironically a strong foundation, rather than its loss being the death of their company. But then what do I know? I am just an artist.