I was thinking (always a dangerous thing.)
As a privately owned, closely held company, why would M Linden need to announce lay-offs at all. With a company that size, this sort of thing is normally done through an inter-office memo. He could advise the investors with a phone call or email, and there are no significant debtors to worry about so why make a press release announcing these lay-offs?
One possibility is us the regular users of SecondLife. We might hear rumors or notice that Lindens we know go absent and he might have thought it easier to let us know up-front what's happening from him than through the grapevine. That hasn't been M. Linden's style in the past though, so I kinda doubt it.
It's also possible this was a subtle message to let potential buyers know the operations are shored up and the company might be for sale to the right suitor.
Is Linden Labs for sale? The company has made no formal admission of this, but there have been several things over the last two years to make me wonder, the most recent lay-offs included.
My gut tells me the company is for sale and the most favored suitor is Google. For over a year they've been incorporating Google products into SecondLife, including: Google Maps, Google Search and Google Translator.
Google tried making their own 3-D virtual world but it failed. Might there still be some interest in the concept?
There was also a recent announcement by Google that they hope to incorporate 3-D virtual worlds into future releases of the Google Chrome browser, which dove-tails nicely with M. Linden's announcement that Linden Labs also hopes to be viewable through web browsers in the near future.
For more traditional SecondLife users, Google might be the white knight of all potential suitors. Facebook or a game company would not be a good match for the traditional SecondLife user who see user rights and user created content as a paramount concern, but Google might be.
To be perfectly honest, I'm talking out my ass here and might be completely wrong, but hunches are sometimes right and this is mine.
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