VMware take next steps towards mobile virtualization platform

VMware is continuing its on again off again relationship with mobile hypervisors, inching slowly towards a decision points on whether or not to truly embrace technology. VMware acquired French  mobile hypervisor develop Trango Virtual Processors 3 years ago and has been working to incorporate Trango’s code into its own mobile virtualization platform (MVP) ever since. VMware has demonstrated MVP on a number of phone platforms in the past and wheeled it out again at VMworld last month and is actively recruiting enterprise customers to partake in a beta program, but so far hasn’t made any announcements about the possibility of a commercial release. Indeed as recently as this past September at the GigaOm Mobilise conference Srinivas Krishnamurti (Senior Director for mobile solutions at VMware) said there wasn’t a use case for mobile virtualization.  So it comes as a bit of a surprise to see that on December 7, VMware and LG  announced a prototype for enabling enterprise employees to use a single handset for work and personal use, which was followed up with a video demonstrating it at work. This isn’t the first time that VMware has made such an announcement, having put on similar demonstrations several times in the past using phones from Motorola, Nokia, and the android G1 phone, but this is the first time that’s VMware have shown MVP running on an LG phone so at least something is new.

The details of the announcement are not yet clear, indeed the announcement does not feature on LG’s press release page , however according to VMware LG has a stated intention of increasing its enterprise market share and is looking to this new technology as a vehicle for achieving that by allowing enterprise IT organizations to control certain aspects of the phone whilst allowing users to maintain their own personal information independent of the enterprise IT configuration.  That may well be correct, but no information has been provided as to which phones are likely to see this capability, or when these devices will ship.  Regardless, VMware needs to show some concrete progress with MVP, showing it off every year at VMworld without any visible sign of progress is far from reassuring, but one would hope with LG putting its name on the board next to VMware we shall start to see some real progress.

Hopefully if VMware is feeling more confident with regard to MVP we might hear what it has to say about its plans for the tablet market.  Will we see MVP reach open towards the tablet platform, or will VMware look to its existing PC hypervisor platforms to step down onto the tablet.

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