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Cellphones Operating Systems Windows

VMware's Dual OS Smartphone Virtualization Plan Firms Up 179

Sharky2009 writes "VMware is developing virtualisation for smartphones which can run any two OSes — Windows Mobile, Android or Linux — at once. The idea is to have your work applications and home applications all running insider their own VMs and running at the same time so you can access any app any time. VMware says: '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,' he said. '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.'" Also mentioned in February of this year, but now the company's announced a target of 2012 for mass production.
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VMware's Dual OS Smartphone Virtualization Plan Firms Up

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  • by lamapper ( 1343009 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @02:07AM (#30349752) Homepage Journal

    *Checks calendar* Yup, it's 2009. VOIP still not possible on my smartphone...

    My phone is smart because it runs a Linux distro that allows for root access when required. Meaning I am not restricted, tethered, limited etc...

    I bought my phone two years ago, so it is not new.

    Nokia Nxxx (770, 800, 810, 900) all will allow you to run WiFi, VoIP, etc... With the N900 you have the option of getting a cellular plan if you must. Personally I would not bother with cellular any time soon, but that is my choice.

    Thanks to my choice (VoIP + WiFi on my "smart" linux enabled (maemo) hand set) my total cost of ownership (TCO) is less than $100 per year. You read that right, less than $100 per year. $24 per year for SkypeIn (with SkypePro) + $3.00 per month for unlimited calling. $24 + $36 and I am done. That is for one year.

    I love it. So make sure you purchase the right phone. Hint on the WiFi Firewall/Router, get a DD-WRT supported device! [dd-wrt.com]. Check the website first before you purchase and only purchase hardware that supports DD-WRT, that way you can control your router and insure WiFi access via a secure intranet.

    Your solution is simple, purchase the right hand set. Buy the right phone. If it will not run a Linux (that allows you to access root when required) then do not buy it! Are you limited, tethered, restricted...then you must not have root access to fix that!

    A strong password for your root account is enough of a security deterrent and has been for years, so please do not spread that FUD.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 07, 2009 @02:40AM (#30349914)

    How android works is analogous to a virtual machine already. If you've rooted your Android phone you don't really have full root access to what runs underneath the Linux variant.

    Um, no. The vast majority of Android handsets use SoCs where the Linux kernel has complete control over the applications processor and the baseband stack runs on a dedicated core. Some of these (Droid) use two different chips (OMAP3430+MSM6K) and some (Dream, Hero, etc) use a single chip with multiple cores (like MSM7201A). I'm unaware of any commercially shipping Android handset where the Linux kernel for Android is not running "on the bare metal"

    There's nothing "under" Linux in these environments, though the baseband is "alongside", but that's not really that different (conceptually) than plugging a WAN card into your PC.

  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @03:51AM (#30350234)

    My phone is smart because it runs software which syncs my music, podcasts, contacts, and photos with my computer. It's also jailbroken and unlocked, which means it is also not restricted, tethered, or limited, and I get root access which I never require...thank you very much.

    My phone does all that and more, like multi-tasking, runs custom OS roms and doesn't require software to load media nor requires hacking before all functions are available to me. It also has MSC capabilities out of the box.

  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @03:56AM (#30350250)

    *Checks calendar* Yup, it's 2009. VOIP still not possible on my smartphone...

    There are several SIP applications for Android. The best I've used is Fring which integrates part of skype, MSN, Gtalk and a few others. There is also [androlib.com]SIPDroid [androlib.com] but this is hit and miss with Australian VoIP providers.

    It will be 2010 shortly and only we elitist open source people will enjoy VOIP on our mobile devices.

  • by olden ( 772043 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @05:47AM (#30350808)

    ... Thanks to my choice (VoIP + WiFi on my "smart" linux enabled (maemo) hand set) my total cost of ownership (TCO) is less than $100 per year. ... $24 per year for SkhypeIn (with SkhypePro) + $3.00 per month for unlimited calling...

    Huh, if all you need is calling while next to a WiFi hotspot, "less than $100/y" remains way overpriced IMHO.
    I use VoIP from my cellphone for maybe $10 to $20/y with SIPdroid [sipdroid.org] + IPkall [ipkall.com] DID + JustVoip [justvoip.com] (or others [backsla.sh]) + optional: Asterisk [asteriskpbx.org], SIPBroker [sipbroker.com] and E164 [e164.org]. But all this is mostly irrelevant as my reason for having a cell is to call from places other than home or work = often without WiFi.

    Back on topic: VMware stuff is IMO like that VoIP/WiFi stuff: sure cool, appealing to geeks. Good for PR / publicity. But otherwise limited practical usefulness, esp for non-techies...

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @07:04AM (#30351120)

    Virtualization exists because OS companies have a hard time making resilient OSes. In an ideal world, it wouldn't be needed, and OSes would be reliable, load-balancing... natively.

    Such an OS has existed. It was called OpenVMS.

  • by david.given ( 6740 ) <dg AT cowlark DOT com> on Monday December 07, 2009 @07:45AM (#30351314) Homepage Journal
    Hypervisors are already widely used in mobile phones --- L4 is very popular. I think that this is largely because it allows the vendors to easily reconfigure the user mode address space to abstract over any platform-specific issues involved with a particular phone model. I've also seen some very neat tricks using L4 such as doing on-demand page fetching from a compressed NAND flash device. (In essence, that gives you the equivalent of executable ROM from a smaller, non-mappable flash part.)

    So it wouldn't be much of a bigger step to use L4's other hypervisor features to support two different user space modes, each running a complete operating system. This has a lot of advantages to the phone manufacturer. Right now, most smartphones such as the G1 have a big chunky processor running the application OS and a smaller processor running the hard realtime radio stack OS. Using a hypervisor would allow them to run both operating systems on the same processor, with the hypervisor's own scheduler ensuring that the radio stack remains real-time no matter what the user OS is doing. That reduces the hardware complexity, and therefore the build price, while still maintaining the regulator-mandated isolation between the application processor and the radio processor.

"It might help if we ran the MBA's out of Washington." -- Admiral Grace Hopper