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VMware Demos Two Operating Systems On Mobile Phone 52

Posted by timothy
from the for-both-your-personalities dept.
nk497 writes "Virtualisation firm VMware has demonstrated its new mobile virtualisation platform, which allows two operating systems to be used at the same time on a single device. On stage at its European conference, VMware reps used a touchscreen Nokia N800 — more of a tablet computer than a phone — with a prototype of its hypervisor to boot and run both Windows CE and Google's Android, at the same time. The firm has yet to announce when such tech will be found in phones."
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VMware Demos Two Operating Systems On Mobile Phone

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  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @03:59PM (#26985761) Homepage Journal

    I am SO tired of having to dual boot my phone just to get the great internal features of Google Android alongside the application support of Windows mobile. Finally, I can take advantage of the spare storage, memory, and CPU capacity dwelling on my phone and simply run both at the same time! VMware, you have done it again!

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      But, can you make phone calls on it? That wasn't demoed, and what happens when both operating systems try to use the radio stack at the same time?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The mobile stack is implemented as not much more than a serial port, so the virtualization layer will be able to handle it the same way the desktop version would share a modem between multiple guests. That is, it would be trivial.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Wesley Felter (138342)

        The real question is whether the hypervisor implements proper looback so that one VM can call the other one. :-)

      • Did you watch the video? They ask that question to the presenter and they said you can define which is the "dominate" phone, so I assume you can configure which one gets the call.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I know this seems useless, but this is the next major platform lock-in. Right now, switching phones is commonplace. How long do you think that will last when there's a hundred and one pieces of paid software running on your phone?
      • by sirsnork (530512)

        But, if it really is all virtualized, you could then move the VM of your OS(s) to your new phone without ever having to worry about where your phone book is stored again

    • by fm6 (162816)

      Too true! Not only is rebooting a pain, but you miss a lot of calls that way....

  • I can see it being useful for application development, maybe. That is stretching it though because usually you emulate the phone on your computer when developing, rather then using the phone itself. How many people are going to do this? Virtualization is great for somethings, but this I would say is pointless. I want my phone to work, the less the interface is relevant the better the interface is. Why would I want two different interfaces that do the exact same thing? You don't have multiple users wit
  • Finally (Score:3, Funny)

    by IceCreamGuy (904648) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:07PM (#26985913) Homepage
    Finally! Now I can run a Beowulf cluster on a single cell phone, we've been waiting so long!
    • at a At a performance of around 1/(n*1.05) the speed of the origional CPU where n is the number of visualization.

      So without and vm = n=0 we get the speed of a single device. When you have a millions VS running you get 1000000*1/(1000000*1.05) = 1000000/1050000 = roughly 0.95
      so with a Beowulf you loose 5% performance.

      • Yes, because when you multiply ~0.952 by n/n (1) you will still get ~0.952
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Hognoxious (631665)

        1/(n*1.05) the speed of the origional CPU where n is the number of visualization.

        So without and vm = n=0 we get the speed of a single device.

        Really? Without a VM it runs at a speed of NaN or DivideByZeroError?

        • by ColaMan (37550)

          Think NaN's are bad?

          You should have seen what happened when VM development was just starting out.

          A BASIC program consisting of a single comment "VM code goes here" on an old Tandy Model I was well on its way to sentience before someone managed to code up the first few stub routines and get things under control. It was a close call. I was there, and I was shitting myself, it was that close. Couldn't sleep for months afterwards.

          Always remember kids - left to it's own devices, a VM will kill you and everyone y

  • Just what I never wanted.

  • Two OSes, One Phone.

    I'd be lying if I said that wasn't the first thing I thought of when I read the headline.

  • The opposite of news (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:18PM (#26986071) Journal

    The N800 is not a mobile phone. It doesn't have any kind of radio capable of communicating with the cellular network. This is just virtualization of a generic ARM device.

    Is virtualization of ARM new? Not really, the first time I saw it done was at the XenSummit in early 2007, when Samsung had a Xen-based hypervisor running on an ARM handheld. So, well done VMWare, you've done something that isn't what the headline says and was first done at least two years ago by one of your competitors.

    If we're talking about a consumer-grade shipping product, then it's a different matter, but a demonstration is underwhelming. And didn't VMWare demo this about six months ago?

  • But does it run xenserver ?

  • For what it's worth (and it's totally pointless unless you're a fan of Microsoft's Solitaire), you can already run (http://atomicvindaloo.com/?p=324) Windows 3.1 on the N95 8GB

  • It must have an substantial drownage of battery life needing to run vm's...

    Or not?

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