IBM: Worlds within worlds


Some people think the virtual world Second Life has no real relevance to the world of business -- at least Second Life as it currently exists, a version described as "far too fat and clumsy to be taken seriously in the enterprise."

But IBM, which announced a partnership with Linden Labs, the creator of the massive site, thinks there is gold in those unreal hills. Big Blue will work with Linden to develop an enterprise version of the software and host its own private areas of Second Life behind its corporate firewall.

IBM is gung-ho on what it calls "the emergence of the 3-D internet," and it sees Second Life as an important component of that new, er, reality. "At IBM we believe there is significant promise far beyond today's usage: the next evolutionary phase of the Internet."