Google's Android looks like it may be emerging as the platform of choice for virtualization on the mobile device.
It is still a nascent market and so any market leadership theories don't have tremendous meaning. But early signs show that Android has a few things going for it. It's more open than other platforms. And it is quickly dominating the overall smartphone market. That lead carries into the world of mobile virtualization.
Considering those factors, it just makes sense that Android would be the top choice. As we explored in our previous post, mobile virtualization is the next frontier, having ramifications that range from security to the commoditization of smart phones in the mass market.
"With Apple keeping its iOS under tight control, and Nokia in the middle of an identity crisis between Symbian and MeeGo, Android is the only open, unlocked platform that a hypervisor could feature as guest OS inside a phone.
Of course there's also Microsoft and its new Windows Phone 7: ironically, the only company that owns both a hypervisor and a whole mobile platform, with enough power and influence to spread a mobile version of Hyper-V in hundreds of handsets, is the only one offered zero sign of interest for this kind of future."
The Apple iPhone and iPad are for the most part devices that third party developers do not consider. Apple does not permit third parties to have access to that layer of its mobile devices.
Android, though, is a more open system that companies like Open Kernel Labs (OK Labs) are using to provide mobile virtualization that is embedded into the mobile device.
Rob McCammon, vice president of of product development at OK Labs said Android is emerging as the platform of choice for smartphones, so it is logical that mobile virtualization solutions focus on Android as well.
"Android brings an OS that is very competitive with iOS on a wide range of device types and formats from multiple OEMs, driving rapid growth in the Android user population," he said. "On top of that the openness of Android, and the related multi-vendor ecosystem, make it more appealing than the closed/single supplier iPhone ecosystem."
VMware is on a similar track. According to InfoWorld:
"Vmware is also working to bring full virtualization to mobile devices, allowing them to run multiple operating environments, much as servers and desktops can today.
For that technology, Android is its platform of choice. Product announcements will be made early next year in that area, with part of the goal being to provide a safe, separate work environment on the devices. The product will be called the Mobile Virtualization Platform."
These are early days in the market but expect tings to start heating up pretty fast in the year ahead. The market is ready for mobile virtualization.