Viewer 2 Public Beta! Coming Soon

UPDATE: Howard Linden this week has published new progress updates about the new Viewer 2 Public Beta on the Official Second Life Blog. Viewer 2 should be out for public beta testing during February / March 2010.  Viewer 2009 has now been renamed to Viewer 2 for 2010 (2.1 due mid 2010) perhaps. Linden Lab will post more details I would Imagine near to the time of release. 2010 looks to be exciting and we will have to see what happens.

Viewer 2 Key Points

The new Viewer 2

A project the size of Viewer 2 (as it’s now called) is a new thing for us at the Lab. We’ve not done much at this scale before and we’ve made some substantial changes to how we work in order to pull it off. Here’s a bit of the back story on what we’ve been up to and what’s coming soon.

Current and New Users

Over 50% of new Residents who register and download the Second Life viewer log in once and never come back a second time. We’ve made it way too hard for a new user to absorb all the wonderfulness that is Second Life.

With Viewer 2, our revamped web site, a new Orientation Island and much more, we’ve taken a step back and tried to create an end-to-end experience that will be much more compelling and relevant for a new Resident.

When Viewer 2 ships, some current Residents will find it frustrating. While we have kept almost all existing functionality, the UI has changed dramatically. It looks different. Menus have moved. There are new ways of interacting and communicating. If you’ve come to know and love the existing user interface, it may be a challenging transition.

Old viewers

1.23 will be around until 30 days after we ship Viewer 2.1 (our first update to the new viewer), about a quarter after delivery of Viewer 2. Viewer 2 will be released to open source. We’ve got a bit of work to do to rebase Snowglobe off of the Viewer 2 code base and merge in Snowglobe changes, but we’re on it.

Viewer 2 shedule

Viewer 2 and will be pulling the covers off very soon — we hope in February. Watch this blog for an announcement. Of course, Viewer 2 is just the beginning, not the end. There is much more to do. Our plan is for Viewers 2.1 and 2.2 to follow along in much shorter order than it took to get Viewer 2 out the door. We’re currently targeting quarterly high-quality releases, and with the changes we’ve made to how we build software, we’ve got a very good shot of achieving that goal.

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