Google launched Lively today, a 3D virtual world that can best be described as the search and advertising giant's take on Second Life. Currently, the service is for Windows users only and requires Internet Explorer or Firefox, as well as a Google account, to take part in. We quickly downloaded and fussed about with Lively earlier this afternoon, a process that was rather simple, but did have a minor registration hiccup. It was also painfully slow on my Windows box, which is by no means state of the art.
Lively is already loaded with hundreds of virtual rooms of varying themes, not to mention thousands of furries, one of the stock avatars that one can then further customize. Navigating around the world, which also seems to feature some light game like elements, took some getting used to. The novelty wore of quickly for me, as chatting with strangers on the internet is more frightening than in real life, but we'll have to dig deeper to see what Google has in store.
We'll check back in with it soon.
Lively by Google [Lively - thanks, DaveKap!]