We had mentioned mobile virtualization few months back. Now, VMware’s purchase of mobile virtualization company Trango Virtual Processors, based in Grenoble, France seems a definite move into a market that is very promising. The first mobile phones with this technology are expected to be available in 2010. The importance lies in the latest developments in mobile field. Google’s Android initiative, Nokia making the Symbian OS open source are some compelling reasons for companies to try to move from proprietary mobile software to open source ones. And virtualization attempts to address the migration issue.
This is best summarized in VMware’s mobile initiative:
As these capabilities increase, a mobile phone user’s persona—applications, pictures, videos, music, emails, bank info, credit card information, PIM all put together—is becoming much richer and more valuable than ever before. You want your persona to be portable so that it can transfer seamlessly when you upgrade to a new phone.
Supported OSs include Windows CE 5.0 and 6.0, Linux 2.6.x, Symbian 9.x, eCos, µITRON NORTi and µC/OS-II.
Virtualization has many advantages on the security front. With mobile devices, users are more isolated from what is happening behind the scene. Unlike PCs where you could have applications running that indicate more memory use or slow down, the limitations bore more threat from malicious applications running in the background. Virtuazation provides tighter control over what resources applications access and hence better control over devices.
The advantages of mobile virtualization are for businesses as well. Companies could develop their mobile applications on software stack that address a virtualized hardware and deploy it across multiple devices. It also allows easy porting of applications and data across devices.