VMware Bringing Dual OS Virtualization To Smartphones
Posted 12/08/2009 at 7:00am | by J.R. Bookwalter
Not content with bringing multiple operating systems to the desktop, VMware is now hard at work on bringing its technology to smartphones, allowing the devices to run two different operating systems at once. Could your iPhone someday soon also run Android?
Srinivas Krishnamurti, VMware’s head of mobile phone virtualization, told Computerworld that the company’s virtualization plans go beyond the kind of dual-boot prototypes already in development. Instead, they plan to have the capability to run both a private and work operating system simultaneously.
“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,” Krishnamurti explains. “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.”
To prove their intentions, VMware has demonstrated a last-generation smartphone with 128 MB of RAM successfully running both Android and Windows Mobile. Krishnamurti points out that 256 MB of RAM would likely be required for such use, but is quick to add: “We don’t think that CPU, memory or capacity will be an issue for running two operating systems.”
VMware pinpoints the growing trend of employee-owned IT as an incentive for developing such technology. With such a policy, employees are responsible for purchasing and managing their own PCs, notebooks and smartphones. “Employees are saying they already have a cool phone, and they don’t want to carry a second one,” Krishnamurti explains, “so they get the choice of whatever device they want rather than the one the corporation has picked for them.”
By VMware’s estimates (with figures from Gartner and IDC), 150 million smartphones were sold globally in 2008, with the number expected to balloon to 600 million by 2014. “That will be about two or three times the number of PCs being sold every year,” Krishnamurti concludes. “So it’s a big market.”