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VMware Demos Two Operating Systems On Mobile Phone

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the for-both-your-personalities dept.

Cellphones 52

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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52 comments

It's about time (4, Funny)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26985761)

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!

Re:It's about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26985933)

Yeah but can it remove stains, feed a hungry family of four, earn you more tax rebates, keep weeds off your lawn, clean your clogged drains, polish wood furniture, clean and protect counter-tops, AND increase the MPG of your SUV?

If so I may just have to order now while supplies last!

PS) My preview captcha was "unaware"

Re:It's about time (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26988031)

...remove stains, feed a hungry family of four, earn you more tax rebates, keep weeds off your lawn, clean your clogged drains, polish wood furniture, clean and protect counter-tops, AND increase the MPG of your SUV?

For that, my other pocket will always be for carrying the Pomegranate phone: http://www.pomegranatephone.com/ [pomegranatephone.com]

Re:It's about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26994349)

...remove stains, feed a hungry family of four, earn you more tax rebates, keep weeds off your lawn, clean your clogged drains, polish wood furniture, clean and protect counter-tops, AND increase the MPG of your SUV?

For that, my other pocket will always be for carrying the Pomegranate phone: http://www.pomegranatephone.com/ [pomegranatephone.com]

Damn it, you just tricked me into thinking about Nova Scotia. Why did you have to do this to me!

Re:It's about time (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986051)

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:It's about time (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26986131)

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:It's about time (2, Funny)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986143)

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

Re:It's about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987139)

No, you can't make phone calls on a Nokia N800. It's an "internet tablet", in other words a computer, not a mobile phone at all.

Re:It's about time (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987569)

Well TFS does say it's "more of a tablet computer than a phone".

I am familar with
a) this gadget and it's not a phone at all, not even a little bit round the edges
    and
b) the construction "not so much an X as a Y", which is normally used to imply that it is an X, albeit not a good one and it shouldn't give up the day job, to whit being a Y.

But then a) I actually have a reasonable command of English and b) I'm not a slashdot editor. Tautology? You, dear reader, must decide.

Re:It's about time (1)

inotocracy (762166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987401)

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:It's about time (1)

Triela (773061) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986195)

It must be hard to push the tiny Alt and tiny Tab buttons simultaneously to swap between each OS. I know! They should make it so that, instead, you can push the tiny Shift and tiny Tab buttons instead, so that one OS runs in a window inside the other! The only drawback being a debilitating hit in performance.

Re:It's about time (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26986591)

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?

Re:It's about time (1)

sirsnork (530512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26990861)

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

Re:It's about time (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27006865)

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

slashdotted :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26985837)

anybody got a mirror of the website number?

Anyone else seeing a point in this? (2, Interesting)

dremspider (562073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26985895)

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 with a phone, so that doesn't help. You aren't consolidating phones because everyone is still going to want their own phone. What can I do with this?

Re:Anyone else seeing a point in this? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986037)

There is already a Windows Mobile emulator for desktop pcs, so all that is needed is for someone to make an Android emulator.

These of course are emulators, not virtualisers, because you are running an ARM platform on an Intel machine.

Re:Anyone else seeing a point in this? (4, Informative)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986109)

[...] so all that is needed is for someone to make an Android emulator.

The Android SDK comes with a development emulator for Windows, Linux, and OS X. Does the job quite nicely, I'd say.

Finally (2, Funny)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26985913)

Finally! Now I can run a Beowulf cluster on a single cell phone, we've been waiting so long!

Re:Finally (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986077)

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.

Re:Finally (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987817)

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?

Re:Finally (1)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996067)

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 you know without batting a (virtual) eyelid. It's no joke. VM programming is Serious Business. I've seen what can happen and it ain't pretty. It fucks you up inside. I just pray to God that VMware knows what they're doing, because if they fuck things up, this VM malarky will get out of hand. It will get out of hand and we'll be lucky to live through it.

It has to be said... (1)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986003)

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.

This is good... (1)

timpintsch (842091) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986015)

Now I can compile a kernel, text a friend and view a video on the same sub-netbook device in less then 24 hours! profit!

VMware rocks (0, Offtopic)

adpe (805723) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986019)

Gotta admit. I have to use virtualization in a professional environment. As much as I like OSS (I don't use any closed source product except the linux nvidia driver), VMware kicks VBox's ass (and all the QEmu etc. alternatives I've tried). I hate it, but VMware products are the most advanced and I'll continue to use them as long as there's no equivalent OSS alternative.

Re:VMware rocks (1)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986495)

What exactly does anything in this article or the summary have to do with OSS vs proprietary software? Exactly which nonexistent argument about this subject were you arguing against?

Re:VMware rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26988193)

I think it was: "VMware kicks VBox's ass" or something. ;)

Re:VMware rocks (1)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#26989861)

That was their argument, but there wasn't anything in the subject or article making any arguments about VMWare vs. VBox or anything OSS vs. proprietary software.

Oh boy! (0, Troll)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986023)

Lets see... the ability to run two operating systems on a thing thats good for email, webbrowsing and phone calls (sometimes, other handheld apps).

Nope, cant think of anything usefull for this.

Re:Oh boy! (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26994031)

Easy. Think about business smart phone deployment. You have 1000 Symbian phones which must have same kind of software with same settings to manage.
You update the virtual machine instead of all that OTA mess.

No. Not Now. Not Ever. I'm Coming For All Of You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26986049)

When your cell phone dies, it can re-download into a new body back at the Resurrection Hub.

Why? (1)

mrphoton (1349555) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986057)

I don't understand why would anybody want this? Why would a manufacturer put enough power and ram in to a device to enable it to run two operating systems at the same time? Surely this just bumps up device cost and is madness? I may be wrong though?

It's not a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26986063)

It's a touch screen computer with wireless. It doesn't handle phone calls at all.

The opposite of news (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986071)

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?

Re:The opposite of news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26991877)

Right: N800 isn't a phone in any sense.

It *is* a cool little portable ARM based Linux computer though, which most Slashdot geeks would probably love if they tried one. I have an N800, and am thinking about getting an N810 now that they are cheap.

Re:The opposite of news (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26996305)

The N810 is still pretty expensive on this side of the pond (around three times the price of the N800 for some reason). It's not really very attractive when compared to the new generation of ARM devices built around the OMAP3530 or i.MX515, with at least 256MB of RAM, a 600-1.2GHz Cortex A8 ARM core, a DSP that can handle 720p H.264, and an OpenGL ES 2.0 DSP.

I have a 770 (the N800's predecessor) that I'm looking to replace, and currently nothing from Nokia is compelling.

Dont Citrix do all this "VMware stuff" free now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987045)

Is anyone still paying for this?

Exactly what I've been waiting for (1)

nemesisrocks (1464705) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987603)

Now I can run TWO operating systems TWICE as slow!!!

Seriously, virtualisation is all well and good on hardware with capacity to spare. It makes no sense at all on a mobile device.

protip: n800 is not a mobile phone at all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987663)

protip: n800 is not a mobile phone at all.

Of course it's a phone, it's from Nokia, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26988163)

BTW, has anyone got a charger for a Nokia IP300?

This is huge! And no, I'm not being sarcastic. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26989053)

I"m currently working on our company's mobile strategy. Think about it this way. Most enterprises lock their mobile devices down for security reasons and usually do not want you using them for personal use. Most of us would rather not carry around two phones although many of us do so that we can keep our personal, personal and our work separated. With this solution we could have one device with a work partition and a personal partition. Now, if we could get the providers keep the charges separated I wouldn't have to worry about my personal calls being logged by the company. Yes, this will be huge for the business user!

Nokia N800 is not a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26991307)

The Nokia N800 is not a phone whatsoever. It has no cell phone capabilities. It's a great device, but any phone calling you do on it is via VoIP over WiFi.

tell me when they get to 42 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26992609)

$@

Who cares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26993097)

It's a phone. Who cares. This is stupid.

Already done it .... (1)

loccohombre (148009) | more than 5 years ago | (#26995687)

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

I want a phone that can use 2 services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26996841)

Any progress on a phone that can use both AT&T and Verizon at once?

Battery drownage? (1)

egnop (531002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26999625)

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

Or not?

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