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Full user review
"A Stable and Secure Second Life Client"
Stable (Rarely Crashes), Good performance, Secure (When downloaded from www.secondlife.com)
No 'Beginner Mode" (Daunting array of menu options), Missing some desirable features found in 3rd-party clients like Emerald.
The 1.23.5 version of the Second Life Client is one of, if not the most stable in-house versions Linden Lab has released to date. This is pretty amazing, considering the large number of security-related updates that have been done to the client during the past 6-12 months.
The new user of Second Life will continue to find the learning curve for this default client formidable. Although there are optional 'Advanced' menu options, there is no corresponding 'beginner' mode. Version 2.x of the client promises a redesign that may make the client friendlier and provide different user levels.
Third party viewers, like the Emerald Client by Modular Systems (http://modularsystems.sl/), continue to gain popularity with those who want additional features not found in the version 1.23.5 SL viewer. Linden Lab is currently working on plans to develop a 'Client Registry,' that will hopefully make comparing different clients and finding trusted sources for them easier.