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Two Mobile Operating Systems, One Phone

VMware Brings Virtualization to Mobile Phones

VMware, a company known for their virtualization software for the desktop and datacenter, recently announced their plans to bring that software to mobile phones through their new VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP). The software is built on technology the company acquired from Trango Virtual Processors just last month. With this new technology, you would no longer have to carry both a work phone and a personal phone. Instead, your I.T. department could just deploy the corporate phone’s profile to your personal device where it would then run in a virtualized space.

Editor’s note: Looking back over 2008, there were some posts on ReadWriteWeb that did not get the attention we felt they deserved – whether because of timing, competing news stories, etc. So in this end-of-year series, called Redux, we’re resurrecting some of those hidden gems. This is one of them, we hope you enjoy (re)reading it!

The VMware MVP is software that can be embedded on a mobile phone to provide the platform for running a virtualized mobile OS and its accompanying applications. VMware claims that this software would run efficiently even on low-power-consuming and memory-constrained phones.

For mobile phone users, the benefits of mobile phone virtualization mean they can run multiple profiles on one device. It also means that an entire mobile phone’s persona – including applications, photos, videos, music, email, etc. – can be easily ported from one device to the next.

For manufacturers, virtualization means they can deploy their software to a wide variety of phones without having to worry about the underlying hardware. It would also allow handset vendors to run their “trusted services” like DRM, authentication, and billing in tamper-proof virtualized environments.

According to Monica Basso, research vice president at Gartner, virtualization for mobile devices is the next big thing. “We predict that by 2012, more than 50% of new smart phones shipped will be virtualized,” she says.

Of course the unanswered question here is the one everyone wants to know: will VMware’s MVP run as an iPhone app?

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