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Second Life ''Enterprise'' Now Testing at IBM, Navy

Linden Labs officially announced its Enterprise version of Second Life earlier today, built for maintaining a virtual environment for corporations behind a firewall. Apparently there's a need for such an application, as the company stated that an Enterprise edition has been the number one request for many years. The virtual environment isn't exactly free however, starting at a hefty $5,000 USD.

So what's different about this localized version? "The extra layers of security and administrative control in a stand-alone product would allow organizations to explore virtual work as a powerful and effective collaboration and communication tool," the company said.

The idea is to bring distributed colleagues together into a "persistent, branded immersive space." Employees can collaborate, prototype new offerings, and hold a business meeting while cutting down travel costs. Currently a few big name corporations are using the Enterprise version--now in beta--including IBM, Intel, Northrop Grumman, the US Navy (Naval Undersea Warfare Center), and many more.

Linden Labs said that the software runs eight regions simultaneously while storing an additional twenty-five regions "that you can take up and down in a flash." When using eight regions, the software can support up to eight hundred avatars. The company added that the Enterprise "behind-the-firewall" version feels exactly like the online Second Life, however this stand-alone software allows real names.