Google launched virtual world service Lively earlier today and The Inquisitr's JR Raphael finished his post with the words "Looks like we may have another Google home run on our hands." I know where JR is coming from as anything Google launches immediately has a weight of presence that over the middle to long run delivers hits with the majority of services. I'd note though that a hit doesn't necessarily mean a market leader, but certainly enough users to make it a top five product in the space with millions of users.
My initial negative on the product was a lack of support for Macs, a very un-Google like product launch. Daring to open Windows in VMWare Fusion, I eventually decided to give it a go. Maybe it doesn't like Vista in a virtual machine, but I found Lively close to unusable. Slow to load, clunky to use, and the popular rooms devoid of avatars to interact with. Underwhelmed isn't the half of my reaction. But am I alone? Here's a pick of the coverage from FriendFeed. I tried to find someone who praises it, but aside from a couple of people suggesting that we should all give it a longer chance, I couldn't find any positives reviews.
l0ckergn0me:"I didn't realize it was possible, but Google Lively is WORSE than Second Life. LIke, astoundingly bad. Don't try."
tried it out today and wasn't too impressed. Although if they implement an API that would allow me to integrate my users in there might be some value to it. - Brad Williams
I tried it, it is a very, very, very unpolished 3d chat room, no more, no less.. it's not a social medium... it's a fancy chat room. - David Silvernail
Almost all of Google's first efforts are crap. They are betting the farm on distributed though, and this seems to fit with that strategy perfectly. - Kevin
No Mac version is beyond insane, it is just flat-out stupid. Why on earth didn't they wait until they could release it for every platform? I mean, unless the Windows folks are being used as open beta testers.... Just seems very odd. I agree with you Duncan. - James Mowery via twhirl
I hate to say it, but I agree. The quality of the graphics is great, but the UI is downright awkward to use. The pop-up bubble messages are annoying and I didn't see any way of private chatting. Customizing your avatar is pretty minimal too. - Jim McCusker
When a polished product exists in the market - i.e. Second Life.. why... oh... why! would you release this product that is clearly only in a pre-alpha version state? - David Silvernail
Mine kept closing itself down before I could choose a character. Will keep trying. - sergiooooooo
i agree, at first glance... FAIL - tommy payne
Candace Holly"Conclusion on Lively? It's Second Life...without the furries. Scary, bad "urgd" speak. It also crashes Firefox. I don't see Lively having any appeal whatsoever to anyone over the age of 15."
Who are we kidding. This thing stinks. the only thing is has going for it is Google. - GregDown for me now and crashing a lot (practically always), but I prefer the Lively design style to Second Life... and having this be somewhat URL/ browser-based is a big plus as well. Let's hope they release a more stable update one of these days... - Philipp Lenssen