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November 29, 2006

Dell Gets a Second Life

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 11/29/2006 08:18:00 AM
Welcome to Dell Island where you can ... umm ... built your own PC online.
Brands are buying into Second Life. Dell Inc. (Nasdaq DELL) has built a Dell Factory.

In Dell Factory, a white, futuristic space, visitors can sit down at a large drafting table lit by a red desk lamp to customize their own computers. Located on Dell Island in Second Life, this somewhat sparse space is where the virtual and real worlds intersect thanks to a unique service: Each machine is delivered to a visitor's real home—reinforcing Dell's brand distinction of customized computers.

Dell hopes the factory can win over Second Life residents wary that corporate enthusiasm will result in a community dominated by advertising.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE HOT) has built a virtual hotel.

Starwood set up its virtual Aloft in Second Life before it appeared in the real world so residents could give design suggestions. At least one avatar-generated idea is being used: the hotel will include local art in the bar area. "We got a pass because we're not pushing products," said Brian McGuinness, vp of Aloft Hotels.

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