VMware developing dual OS smartphone virtualisation

Work and home phones apps and calls will run on the same handset at the same time via virtualisation

VMware has flagged smartphones as the next platform in the evolution of virtualisation, but at least one major competitor, Microsoft, says that it sees no demand for the technology.

Speaking to Computerworld, Srinivas Krishnamurti, VMware’s head of mobile phone virtualisation said the company’s vision for virtualisation on smartphones went beyond the basic dual-boot prototypes currently in development to one that ran both a private and work operating system and profile at the same time.

“We don’t think dual booting will be good enough - we’ll allow you to run both profiles at the same time and be able to switch between them by clicking a button,” he said. “You’ll be able to get and make calls in either profile – work or home – as they will both be live at any given point in time.”

VMware has successfully demonstrated Android and Windows Mobile on a last generation smartphone with 128MB of RAM, Krishnamurti said, however, for production, 256MB of RAM would likely be the recommended spec.

“We don’t think that CPU, memory or capacity will be an issue for running two operating systems,” he said.

Krishnamurti said VMware was exploring multiple user interface scenarios to find the best one for intuitively managing the features, applications and calls of effectively two phones running on one.

"A couple of the paradigms we are working with is to have multiple screens you can switch between to run your apps, and for calls we think you may have different ring tones set up for home or work,” he said. “For apps you just click a button to go to Facebook or to go to your customer list, or we could just munge them all next together, except when you click on it, it opens and runs in a different virtual machine.”

In this way, and through additionally utilising a remote management console, IT managers could isolate work applications and data from personal applications and data, thus addressing security and management issues, Krishnamurti said.

Detailing the market argument for smartphone virtualisation, Krishnamurti said that with people using smartphones more like a PC than a phone, the same issues which plague the PC - security and management costs – would soon become issues on smartphones. Another major driver for smart phone virtualisation was the growing trend of employee-owned IT, in which employees were responsible for purchasing and managing their own PCs, notebooks and smart phones, Krishnamurti said.

“CIOs are saying they are spending a lot of money on buying end-points be they PCs or smart phones; if we can get out of buying these endpoints then it will save us a lot of management time and money,” he said.

“Employees are saying they already have a cool phone, and they don’t want to carry a second one, so they get the choice of whatever device they want rather than the one the corporation has picked for them.”

Over the page, the Microsoft smartphone vision

Tags Microsoftsmartphonessmartphone virtualisationvirtualisationVMware

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Linda Bilorelli


Many analysts, including Gartner, say that the Windows Mobile phone platform will be discontinued in the next year or so.

Maybe those poor hapless phone users can use VMWare to get Google's Android running on their old and discontinued WinMo phones. Bring them back to life!



Judging by the way that Windows Mobile strangles the CPU and memory on my mobile, is it any wonder why Microsoft hasn't had a virtualization demand from its mobile clients?

In contrast, Android is quite snappy and responsive on the same device.

Reality Check:

Mobile phones have traditionally little memory (both flash and ram)

Open Source code shares practically everything (in both flash and ram) making resource utilization much more efficient.

Proprietary code does not share (much) code at all, which puts a heavy tax on storage, ram, and cache lines.

Microsoft really needs to rethink their platform design - they're plainly just too inefficient.



So let me see. Vmware is out in front pushing the envelop, while MS sits back seeing no real future in this area.

Gee, I'm shocked...NOT
Can anyone tell me what really innovative idea has come out out MS since they stole Windows?



Is this really that useful? I don't think I would ever want to run more than one O/S on my phone. Wouldn't introducing a "profile" concept into the customers choice O/S do the same thing essentially?

Gernot Heiser


Not sure what all this fuss is about. What VMware is demoing, others have been shipping to end-users for more than a year (and it's made in Oz!) See http://www.ok-labs.com/blog/entry/demo-worlds-first-virtualized-mobile-phone/

Gernot Heiser


Not sure what all this fuss is about. What VMware is demoing, others have been shipping to end-users for more than a year (and it's made in Oz!) See http://www.ok-labs.com/blog/entry/demo-worlds-first-virtualized-mobile-phone/



Any chance of a 4+ inch Android mobile virtualising Chromium OS. I guess another option would be to have Chrome as an optional browser app for Andriod.h



In fact, it is not VMware who is innovating. It is Open Kernel Labs who has ALREADY not just prototyped this but been shipping phones, e.g. Evoke QA4.

MS has conceded since they are losing market share and must stay focused on the enterprise and PC space.



Where do you put the Sim? lol

I'd be happy to get a ui for my phone via bluetooth or usb, presented as a 3-d photorealistic virtual device onscreen. With skin options.

phone smart


Android is a good system and its good that S/E is embracing an existing OS and providing a platform for it. The competition between Apple and Google is a very promising thing for consumers of smartphones, I look forward to seeing what comes out of it.More information about it from http://www.sourcinggate.com/smart-cell-phone-c-174.html

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