VMware Dives into Mobile Virtualization

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Although there’s no denying that virtualization has revolutionized the server and software development worlds—and is even having an impact on some consumers—are we really ready for virtualization on mobile phones? VMware seems to think so, and has announced a new VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform based on technology it acquired with France’s Trango Virtual Processors last month. The idea behind phone virtualization is to enable movile users to have the benefits of multiple mobile operating systems using just a single handset: they might use one operating system for personal use, then switch to another for work-related tasks.

“By abstracting the applications and data from the hardware itself, we expect that virtualization will not only enable handset vendors to accelerate time to market but can also pave the way for innovative applications and services for phone users. We look forward to working closely with our partners to bring new mobile solutions to market faster, said VMware’s president and CEO Paul Maritz, in a statement.

VMware’s MVP technology currently supports Linux 2.6.x, Windows Mobile 5.0 and 6.0, Symbian 9.x, and phone OS’s eCos, µITRON NORTi and µC/OS-II.

While phones may seem underpowered for standard virtualization techniques, processing and storage capacities of phones are only going to increase, and market analysis firm Gartner seems a growing market for mobile virtualization, forecasting half of all smartphones shipped in 2012 will be virtualized to offer both enterprises and consumers a wide range of choices and capabilities on the same hardware.