Despite the drawbacks I believe that it can be assumed that the future of the web, and business conducted on the web, will be done more virtually than it is done at the present time. Because of this business will have to adapt and learn how to run within a virtual environment like Second Life.
Virtual worlds such as Second Life can be useful to businesses if they evaluate the risks involved, according to a research note from Gartner.
Steve Prentice, who recently published an in-depth study on virtual worlds, said virtual worlds can pose problems to security and corporate image, but shouldn't be automatically written off as time-wasting games.
Large companies are beginning to take virtual worlds seriously, with enterprises such as Intel, IBM and Sun setting up virtual offices in Second Life, and using it to hold press conferences and even internal meetings.
Dell uses Second Life to allow customers to build custom PCs and then order the real thing, while US retailer Best Buy uses its Second Life facility to give customers access to troubleshooting experts, and Cisco hosts virtual user-group meetings at its Second Life HQ.