No 'Second Life' for Microsoft's Vista

Some users of the new operating system are having a tough time connecting to the virtual world.

Although Microsoft recently threw a splashy launch party for Windows Vista in Second Life, those running the operating system may have had trouble enjoying the festivities.

According to a recent post on Second Life's official blog, some people running Vista can't reliably connect to the virtual world, where millions of people hang out as avatars, or 3D versions of themselves. Vista launched for consumers January 30 with fanfare that included a virtual concert in Second Life.

Second Life engineers are working to hammer out the technical problems, said publisher Linden Lab. Ensuring that Vista users can access Second Life could prove important to Linden Lab, which makes money selling virtual clothing, real estate and other goods.

"The changes that are currently in the First Look Viewer (a test version of the Second Life viewer) are an important precursor to any reasonable attempt for us to debug problems with running Second Life under Windows Vista," according to the Second Lifeblog posted February 9.

"These changes are just about ready for an official release, at which point we will start the process of ensuring that Second Life runs under Vista."

A spokesman for Linden Lab said the fixes will likely be ready in a couple of weeks.

In a test of Second Life-Vista compatibility on a Dell XPS m1210, the operating system didn't work properly with the virtual world because of an unsupported graphics driver.

The problems come only weeks after Microsoft put on its glitzy launch event for Vista inside Second Life. The company hosted a streaming concert of rave musician Praga Khan on January 30, and it was promoted in 10 Second Life locations, including within islands known as Strawberry Estate, Sanctuary Rock and Isle of Lesbos, according to the blog of Miel Van Opstal, an employee in Microsoft's Belgium office and a self-described "enthusiast evangelist."

Microsoft representatives didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

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