Forty Acres and a Mule.
Land ownership in Second Life v1.2 comes complete with a guaranteed allocation of server resources to ensure fair distribution of objects in each region. Prim hogs are a thing of the past, as you'll have sole access to a portion of prims equal to the percentage of purchasable land you hold - land in regions with large amounts of Linden-owned open space will have higher allocations and will be especially valuable. —
At the same time, they're making other interesting, major changes in 1.2:
- They're involving real money with the “Developer Incentives” program. As Philip Linden (LL CEO and RealNetworks ex-CTO Philip Rosedale, I expect) says in the discussion thread, “Linden Lab will not be selling L$ for RL$. We will instead be offering programs where you can get RL$ for L$.”
- You can join for a one-time fee of $10. You just can no longer claim land willy-nilly. So for a negligible cost you can visit and use Second Life, you just can't contribute building-wise without paying more.
- In fact, the entire onus of funding the world has moved from access to development. It sounds like you can no longer claim land at all, only buy parcels at auction. You can only own so much land, which for the $10 cheapskates means none, and otherwise depending how much you pay. Interesting that they're going to allow you to pay for your land with L$, though, so if you contribute to the world as indicated by the in-world economy, you do get to own land.
- You can get beta client software for the Mac now. Maybe you could with 1.1 too—or maybe that is 1.1 since all the 1.2 stuff sounds like preannouncement—but I hadn't mentioned it, so here it is.
See also the Terra Nova post about it, which points out a point of the land pricing chart my eyes glossed over: “Under the new system, the land mass of an entire 2L server can be had for $195 a month.”