A Trip with the SL Web Viewer (Beta)

Select your avatar with SL Web Beta Viewer
I received an email invitation to try out the SL Web Viewer (Beta). Once I had watched the introductory video I was invited to enter my email address and then granted permission to enter Second Life. (Apparently, not everyone is given access perhaps because numbers using the viewer simultaneously are limited?) I quickly selected an avatar from a generous range of possible looks (around 18).
Alarming SL avatar
My avatar (826950 Guest) was a dainty creature compared to this calligraphy loving amazon. (Note we are almost standing side by side... I was not scared...)
SL Web Viewer provides a range of destinations in Second Life
The SL Web Viewer provides a range of destinations in Second Life. These are displayed along the bottom of the viewer. When you land after a teleport a helpful tip box pops up to guide newbies around the viewer and Second Life. At one point I tried to make the whole viewer bigger on my Mac screen, this worked for a moment before freezing and crashing my computer. I had to reboot and debated about trying the viewer again, as I could trace the cause of the crash I headed back to the new viewer vowing to avoid making it larger this time around.
cyberloom meets SL Web Viewer avatar
At first I was not sure where I was, could this be a special version of SL for a browser? Or was it Second Life itself? When I realized this was SL 'actual' (to borrow from Battlestar Gallactica) I fired up my Imprudence viewer and logged in. I teleported over to the same location as my SL Web Viewer avatar and met myself!
These last two screen shots show a section of my Imprudence viewer alongside the SL Web Viewer. I was unable to adjust the time of day in the web viewer (it appears to be set to default time).

This new viewer is very cool and points at new possibilities for Second Life. I have a new high end computer and worried it was going to start smoking but then I was pushing the envelope a bit after all. The tutorial pop up box is a sweet system for training newbies in context. Maybe such an aid (with an optional on/off switch) could be added to the standard viewer? This web viewer would be great for educators introducing students to SL but I guess such considerations are coming to an end? I am used to the full spectrum of options available with a standard viewer and found the web viewer slightly claustrophobic but all in all this was a wicked fun (one hour) trip.