For Linden Lab, the joint project with I.B.M., it seems, is an effort to make its technology platform a common standard — the Windows of virtual worlds. But for many corporate uses, it is not clear that Second Life offers any advantage over competitors like ActiveWorlds or OpenSim, an open source virtual world technology.
For example, a corporate brainstorming session or product-design simulation exercise would be attended by relatively small numbers of interested people, company employees or partners, not the wider Second Life world. The advantage, though, may well become apparent if a company already has a virtual storefront on Second Life. Then, the corporate technology staff can avoid the mysteries of navigating more than one virtual world.
Second Life: Tamed for Corporate Consumption - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog