Dude, Second Life's getting a Dell store

Round Rock (TX) - Further adding to the integration of real life into the online PC hit Second Life, Dell today announced that it has opened up an online store in the virtual world where subscribers will be able to purchase products, including computers, and have them shipped to their real life house.

According to a virtual press conference held today in Second Life, Dell Island, an area inside the game that is officially licensed by the computer maker, now includes a retail store where people can purchase Dell computers without even leaving the game.

"For the first in-world resident to order their PC from us, they'll get it for free. We asked ourselves if Second Life customers want to build a virtual PC and want to get it delivered in real life. We think some of them will," said Ro Parra, senior VP for Dell's Home and Small Business division.

The virtual store lets customers browse through Dell PCs in a 3D environment. Additionally, they are able to rotate the products and change colors among all available options for the respective models. Finally, users can even check out the inside of the PC to see all the included components.

When customers commit to purchase a PC through the virtual store, they are connected to Dell's e-commerce system without ever leaving Second Life. The process then works basically the same as ordering a PC through Dell's Web site; customers enter their credit card information and shipping address, and the PC is shipped to their home.

The slate of real-life companies entering the popular world of Second Life has been increasingly growing. Some of the top companies in the country have paid to get official spots in Second Life, including Sun Microsystems, Adidas, and Toyota, as well as the news wire Reuters. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also has a presence in the online world.

Millions of dollars of real currency are transferred online each month to the game's virtual currency of Linden Dollars. With such promise in financial growth, companis like Dell are rightfully optimistic about the future possibilities with Second Life. "While we're excited about this step, we believe it is a small step. We think this is just an exciting medium for us and we're eager to tap into its power," said Parra.