Linden Lab has confirmed that it is currently working on a new virtual world in the spirit of Second Life. According to an official statement at New World Notes, this new project will be "an open world where users have incredible power to create anything they can imagine and content creators are king." If that sounds exactly like the description for Second Life already, the studio points out that, "The next generation virtual world will go far beyond what is possible with Second Life, and we don't want to constrain our development by setting backward compatibility with Second Life as an absolute requirement from the start."
But Linden Lab assures current Second Life users that this doesn't spell the end for their favorite virtual world. "Second Life has many years ahead of it," the statement continues. "And in addition to improvements and new developments specifically for Second Life, we think that much of the work we do for the next generation project will also be beneficial for Second Life."
A video of the developers meeting that discusses this project is expected to be released soon.
[Thanks for the tip, Zenaphex!]