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Samsung and VMWare Bringing Virtualization to Android

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 years ago | from the it's-all-turtles-man dept.

Android 135

jbrodkin writes with an interesting article in Ars Technica about virtualization and phones. From the article: "VMware's mission to bring virtualization to the mobile market gained a major supporter last week when Samsung pledged to use VMware software to build business-friendly smartphones and tablets. The project known as Horizon Mobile will let Android phones use virtual machine technology to run a second instance of Android, in much the same way virtualization works on servers and desktops. The user essentially has two completely separate phones running on one device, and can switch from the personal one to the corporate one by clicking a 'work phone' icon." There are others pushing alternative approaches to virtualization on mobile devices.

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VMs on a mobile device? (0)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 3 years ago | (#37329422)

Surely there's a more efficient way to have 2 separate phone environments running on the same handset.

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | about 3 years ago | (#37329652)

Surely there's a more efficient way to have 2 separate phone environments running on the same handset.

Yep. Just as there's a more efficient way to have two separate operating environments running on the same personal computer or server.

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#37329710)

There is, using jails or chroots or openvz containers. How much separation you want dictates what method you choose.

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (1)

James Carnley (789899) | about 3 years ago | (#37329910)

You can run Windows apps with jails and chroots? Do the WINE guys know about this?

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#37329934)

Of course not. He said two separate operating system environments, not can you run windows in it.

You would not be able to run it on this either, unless you have some arm compiled windows.

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (1)

James Carnley (789899) | about 3 years ago | (#37330002)

Windows 8 is ARM compiled.

It just seems that a lot of these comments are seeing the forest for the trees.

It would be silly to not invent and develop VirtualBox when chroots and jails "run things in an isolated manner". That's only a small use case. We want to run other OSes while inside our favorite environment.

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#37330062)

Link to the download for that, or it is useless. Windows has supposedly been compiled for arm before and nothing came of it.

No one is missing anything kiddo. I just stated that there are faster ways to get this sort of separation if you were willing to run on OS multiple times.

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37330348)

Ummm, have you ever heard of this OS called windows mobile 7? It's windows. It runs on ARM. You can buy it right now.

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#37330392)

Its not "windows" it does not support the same APIs as windows. Its kernel is perhaps similar, but the userland is nothing like it.

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (1)

janap (451953) | about 3 years ago | (#37331208)

Its not "windows" it does not support the same APIs as windows. Its kernel is perhaps similar, but the userland is nothing like it.

"nothing like it" as in "Android is nothing like Slackware"?

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 3 years ago | (#37331214)

the wince underneath is similar in api in some ways.

Too bad windows phone is just an app on top of that with a vm to run user installed programs. it's like going back to dos with a launcher. and people are calling it revolutionary. well fuck yeah it's a de-evolution.

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (1)

hansraj (458504) | about 3 years ago | (#37329970)

Except that in the context of this discussion the OS running in the virtual environment is the same kind as the host OS.

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37330120)

Considering it is a 'linux' device I would say so...

Just have 2 'users'. 2 desktops...

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37330436)

**sigh**

Dual-SIM, anyone?

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 3 years ago | (#37331354)

Efficient? Maybe.

Secure and solid solution? Probably not.

This solution gives much better guarantee of security of the work VM to not be compromised by the home VM and so forth, and is also arguably a very clean and neat solution. You only need to carry one piece of hardware, but still effectively have two phones- one for work, one for home.

Re:VMs on a mobile device? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 3 years ago | (#37331412)

Surely there's a more efficient way to have 2 separate phone environments running on the same handset.

It seems like a reasonable way to keep my "personal phone" and my "work phone" separate, despite being the same phone.

Hypervisor-style virtualizaiton is pretty darn efficient (most instructions just run normally on the CPU, no inefficiency at all there), until you switch between machines. If you're running one "phone" or the other at any given time, it shouldn't be an issue, really.

As I see this is solves one key problem: my employer wants to wipe my phone if I leave. I don't want any of my personal info affected. If the phone being wiped is virtual, I'm OK with that.

Now you have my attention (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 3 years ago | (#37329434)

While I'd be more interested from an end user and developer perspective, I like the idea of having a phone that will do both Android, WP7, and possibly even something like regular android, rooted android, (with multiple versions of android) and WP7 all at once.

Re:Now you have my attention (1)

CPTreese (2114124) | about 3 years ago | (#37329724)

While I'd be more interested from an end user and developer perspective, I like the idea of having a phone that will do both Android, WP7, and possibly even something like regular android, rooted android, (with multiple versions of android) and WP7 all at once.

While you're at it, can you throw in a flux capacitor as well?

Re:Now you have my attention (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 3 years ago | (#37330388)

For personal use, having both WP7 and Android would give the best app coverage i'd want without giving apple another cent. As a developer, being able to test multiple OS's on 1 device would be really nice.

Re:Now you have my attention (1)

DemonGenius (2247652) | about 3 years ago | (#37330542)

One thing that I would find handy is support for smartphone OSes in standard VMWare. Combine that with a laptop with a capacitive multitouch screen and you have the optimal workstation for smartphone development.

Re:Now you have my attention (1)

bjwest (14070) | about 3 years ago | (#37330910)

I think it would be a bit clunky to use a VM just to expand your app choices. Now if they could do a mobile WINE type doodad, THAT would be something I could go for app choice expansion.

The VM is a good idea to keep the work and personal environments separate, but so would a duel boot type situation. That's what people (should) do with their laptops to separate their work from personal environments.

Re:Now you have my attention (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 3 years ago | (#37329774)

Yo dawg, I heard you like smartphones...

Hmm (1)

drolli (522659) | about 3 years ago | (#37329436)

Or android and bada at the same time.

Re:Hmm (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about 3 years ago | (#37329816)

That's sort of like wanting to eat ice cream and dog turds at the same time. Just skip the turds altogether.

Re:Hmm (1)

gblfxt (931709) | about 3 years ago | (#37330438)

yo dog, i heard you liked android.....

Sayonara Battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37329456)

Ok. This means the battery will just die faster. Talk about "Power User".

Practical use? (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 3 years ago | (#37329462)

Perhaps if I was a Droid developer I might have a use for this. But for the average user, why not stick with profiles instead? No need to complicate the PDA anymore than it already is IMHO.

Re:Practical use? (2, Insightful)

Marc Madness (2205586) | about 3 years ago | (#37329588)

From TFA:

With VMware’s Horizon Mobile, malicious software downloaded on the phone’s personal environment shouldn’t affect the virtual “work phone.” And IT shops can manage the virtual phones in much the same way as they manage virtual desktops, provisioning phones with standardized templates and pushing out application updates over-the-air, reviewing the health of the phone from a dashboard, setting policies restricting what the phone may be used for, and remotely locking or wiping the work portion of the phone.

This is probably more appealing to your employer's IT department than the phone user, but it does seem to have a practical use. However, this probably isn't fully implemented yet, so whether or not it actually achieves this functional requirement is purely speculation at the moment.

Re:Practical use? (2)

egranlund (1827406) | about 3 years ago | (#37329912)

Ever heard of Blackberry Balance? Same thing, less complicated.

Wiping phones etc (4, Informative)

phorm (591458) | about 3 years ago | (#37330186)

One of the big issues in IT departments is that many people want to use their "personal phone X" as their work phone. I can somewhat understand this, as having two phones on my own belt-holster is quite irritating.

The big issue becomes, when a company's important data may be linked to the phone, who manages/owns the phone. If you have a corporate blackberry and an employee is terminated or loses the phone, you can wipe the phone via BES etc. It that phone is not necessarily a corporate phone, then you're going to have a pretty ticked off user (and possibly a lawsuit) if you wipe his/her personal stuff along with the phone. Also, what if the user jailbreaks the phone, etc

If personal/corporate space are separate, then your work space can be safely wipe the work VM. Similarly, an individual VM may have an entirely different privacy/security setting, jailbroken personal VM (and unbroken work VM) etc etc

My main concern would be performance. VM's nowadays are pretty efficient, but phones run on batteries and any overhead isn't cutting into what's already a fairly thin line.

Re:Wiping phones etc (1)

ajs (35943) | about 3 years ago | (#37330806)

Exactly correct. Could someone please mod parent up?

Re:Practical use? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 3 years ago | (#37329626)

So you don't know anyone that carries two phones? Must not have many friends... It's simple, with this your company can finally give you a single phone that is simultaneously usable for work emails that you can't compromise with Angry Birds 8 or some other fart app, and that you can use for Angry Birds 8 and that fart app you just had to have. Not to mention the ability to charge in/punish out of the "correct" mode, such as taking personal phone call costs out of your paycheck.

Expect to see handset sales fall in half if this takes off; all of a sudden there will be no point in carrying two phones around.

Separate Numbers Re:Practical use? (1)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | about 3 years ago | (#37329908)

Is this meant to fake out two phones, or just a mega-profile? Phones are all about service plans. If you have a 'virtual' phone does that require it's own service plan?

Does the same phone number ring both phones? (If it does how do you know if you should pick up with the Business profile or the Private profile.)

Do you need 2 SIM cards? (Not even sure how that would work.)

Sounds like it's just a mega-profile, and in that case it sounds like overkill.

Re:Separate Numbers Re:Practical use? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 3 years ago | (#37330030)

Do you need 2 SIM cards? (Not even sure how that would work.)

It would work something like this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_SIM [wikipedia.org]

Re:Practical use? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 3 years ago | (#37329918)

So you don't know anyone that carries two phones?

Uhh, no. Is that common? Most the companies I've worked for expect me to pay my own bill. Other let me itemized the bill each month as an expense.

Re:Practical use? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 3 years ago | (#37330828)

Many employers have specific requirements to use Andoid in the workplace. I know that I don't sync my mail/calendar/etc for this reason (they only support a handful of phones, and I'm not going to spend my own money buying a phone to meet somebody else's specs). Virtualization might meed the needs of both parties.

Of course, most of the corporate requirements are still silly. They want you to have a phone that somebody can steal, but they can't read the data off of it. Unless that phone requires a strong boot-up password that is used to encrypt the drive that you have to re-enter on every unlock that isn't really possible. I've yet to see a phone that actually implements security that isn't fairly trivially breakable (by pulling the battery and directly reading data off the flash chips).

Re:Practical use? (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | about 3 years ago | (#37331004)

Of course, most of the corporate requirements are still silly. They want you to have a phone that somebody can steal, but they can't read the data off of it. Unless that phone requires a strong boot-up password that is used to encrypt the drive that you have to re-enter on every unlock that isn't really possible. I've yet to see a phone that actually implements security that isn't fairly trivially breakable (by pulling the battery and directly reading data off the flash chips).

So you haven't seen an iPhone, a BlackBerry, or a WM7 phone using the built in security?

Re:Practical use? (1)

ajs (35943) | about 3 years ago | (#37330906)

Billing isn't the issue. Typically, you see the two-phone thing in sales, IT and highly regulated environments. For example, if you work for a drug company, you must not allow users to store any corporate data on a hand-held device unless the company has complete control over it. This isn't the company's call, it's the FDA's. Why? Because that data is subject to retention policies that are related to drug testing rules, and you have to be able to guarantee that you can produce the information again on demand.

So, imagine the poor user who just wants to be able to control their own phone. They don't want to go through 2 layers of authentication just to tell Pandora to switch to a different station, but if they disable that authentication, their work email and contacts will all delete themselves.

Instead, you have isolated environments with something like this article's topic, and you toggle between them for work and personal use. Nice and easy, and IT doesn't get to tell you how to manage your personal phone.

Re:Practical use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37329948)

You obviously never speak to your "friends". The reason people carry two phones is because their employer pays for work calls on their work phone and they'll get fired if they use it for personal calls all the time. Putting two operating systems on the phone does nothing to solve this issue. It requires two SIM cards. Dual SIM phones are available but they are awkward and most of them only allow you to use one SIMm at a time, and why bother when even the cheapest contract comes with a free phone?

Re:Practical use? (1)

gknoy (899301) | about 3 years ago | (#37330158)

If there were a phone build specifically for it, I imagine you could easily use the Work SIM for one profile, and your Personal Plan SIM for the other -- so the work plan never gets billed for your calls to who-knows-where, and therefore shouldn't care what you do with it.

Re:Practical use? (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | about 3 years ago | (#37330272)

that would be if virtualization was actually as good of a protection as physical phones, which it isnt

Re:Practical use? (1)

ajs (35943) | about 3 years ago | (#37330938)

that would be if virtualization was actually as good of a protection as physical phones, which it isnt

Can you cite a source? I'm pretty sure I've never seen that comparison performed in the wild.

Re:Practical use? (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | about 3 years ago | (#37329700)

It would sure seem to make for some nicely hard to detect root kits. Your trojan can spin up a VM where it will be harder to detect as a rogue process inside the main OS. Have fun with that!

Re:Practical use? (1)

ajs (35943) | about 3 years ago | (#37330980)

It would sure seem to make for some nicely hard to detect root kits. Your trojan can spin up a VM where it will be harder to detect as a rogue process inside the main OS. Have fun with that!

It would be pretty hard to do this. You would have to find a way to control the virtualization layer from within a guest OS. That's been the holy grail of defeating desktop virtualization security for a long time, and while there are occasional bugs discovered, I'm not aware of anything that's been exploitable enough and pervasive enough (e.g. unpatched versions) that there's been an active exploit in the wild.

I admit, I haven't followed the topic for a while, so fill me in if there are examples of such.

Battery life sucks (0)

CSHARP123 (904951) | about 3 years ago | (#37329472)

Battery life sucks on Android phones. I say work on battery improvements. I hope with Moto in the basket, Google provides a better experience with Android phones than Samsungs and HTCs.

Re:Battery life sucks (1)

MichaelKristopeit423 (2018892) | about 3 years ago | (#37329644)

managing the VM global environment will only make battery life worse.

Re:Battery life sucks (1)

EvilJoker (192907) | about 3 years ago | (#37329690)

It will be several years before anything Google does could have any bearing on Moto devices- the 2 aren't planned to join for about 6 months, and even then it would have no bearing on anything currently in the pipeline. I can safely say that Google's influence will not be felt in the market for at least 2 years. For comparison, 2 years ago, Eclair had not yet launced. There are a lot of changes that can happen in that time.

As for battery life, I find them to be on par with other smart phones (which is much worse than most dumb phones)

Re:Battery life sucks (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 3 years ago | (#37330104)

My 1.5 year old N79 lasts more than 3 days

A friends new Xperia mini pro lasts about 18 hours with the same usage pattern

similar patterns b/w Nokia s60 and android phones most of the time

Re:Battery life sucks (1)

ajs (35943) | about 3 years ago | (#37331018)

And if the market forced battery life to be a priority, then we'd get the same battery life we had on slower devices, but the big drains are high-contrast, high-resolution screens and fast processors; both of which continue to be the driving market forces.

Re:Battery life sucks (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 3 years ago | (#37331906)

when a lot of the extra power is going to just display animations in menus, for me atleast thats a waste of battery power.

s60 had minimal animation in menus,etc. Android has quite a bit more
That could be a contibuting factor to battery life as well

Re:Battery life sucks (1)

Xest (935314) | about 3 years ago | (#37331376)

Battery life sucks on all smart phones. The battery life of the iPhone 4 and Windows 7 phones is no better than the equally priced high end Android phones.

Sure some of the truly budged Android phones have noticably less battery life, but like for like, smartphone battery life is pretty shit in general.

Re:Battery life sucks (1)

lgw (121541) | about 3 years ago | (#37331466)

My high-priced andoid phone lasts for many days if I use it only as a phone and music player (which I do when I travel). It's the radios that drain the battery - an hour of wifi seems to drain the battery as much as a day without.

that's nice (1)

TheMan28 (2456174) | about 3 years ago | (#37329478)

thank you very much

Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37329560)

I was hoping for an easy way to run windows in a virtualized tablet app for games and productivity apps with this article....

Re:Windows (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 years ago | (#37330130)

Sure, but you'll probably need to plug it into the wall, and attach a keyboard, and a larger monitor...

Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37329586)

Your personal phone can still be declared "discoverable" in a lawsuit and you will still have to surrender it.

IMHO -- NEVER user personal property for the benefit of "the man".

A great idea, if they pull it off! (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | about 3 years ago | (#37329754)

To all the naysayers in here, consider:

Today's phones don't have the hardware to pull this off effectively. But, tomorrow's phones will arrive. They might include hardware hypervisor support (perhaps they already do) like modern x86 processors, dramatically increasing virtualization efficiency. Today's phones ship with 512-1GiB RAM, but you'll have trouble finding a (leading edge) phone with so little in 5 years.

But what is the advantage?

Simple. Security.

Imagine being able to snapshot your phone to try a new piece of software. Turns out to be malware? Hoses your phone or leaves traces of itself behind after uninstall? Revert the snapshot.

Want to be able to give your wife (or friend) your phone, but don't want to shut down your business applications? Flip VMs to a "public" phone. Your address book is hidden away, your meeting announcements are invisible, your email is safe. You can even let them install software in the other VM with a much lower risk (after taking a snapshot, of course), and suspend the instance when they're done.

Entire VMs could be encrypted and provisioned by your IT staff, to meet the needs of policy. Those irritating 5-minute auto-screen-locks? Now it's only a problem on your "work" phone. At the end of the day, flip back to your personal device, and you're good to go - all the while your email continues to download in the background.

Company decides to remote-wipe? There goes the VM. But only the VM. You're still as mobile as you ever were.

How about instance cloning? Buy a new phone, transfer your virtualized instance over, and you're back in business.

I think the possibilities for phone virtualization would be endless!

Re:A great idea, if they pull it off! (1)

spyked (1878060) | about 3 years ago | (#37330052)

Mod parent up. Virtualization isn't the latest-hardware-resource-hogging-thing like some other pieces of software, it's been here since the 60s. There already are projects for paravirtualization-oriented (micro)kernels on embedded architectures (namely ARM), many of them based on the L4 [wikipedia.org] family. They aren't exactly made for the mobile market yet, but with the proper hardware support these could really rock on OS-level power management and security.

Re:A great idea, if they pull it off! (1)

ckaminski (82854) | about 3 years ago | (#37330540)

Any fuckers who want to patent this better watch out. I wrote about this years ago right here on Slashdot, somewhere...

I know I'm by no means the smartest kid in class, but this should have been obvious once phones started equaling computers in capabilities.

Re:A great idea, if they pull it off! (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 3 years ago | (#37330972)

Entire VMs could be encrypted and provisioned by your IT staff, to meet the needs of policy. Those irritating 5-minute auto-screen-locks? Now it's only a problem on your "work" phone. At the end of the day, flip back to your personal device, and you're good to go - all the while your email continues to download in the background.

Company decides to remote-wipe? There goes the VM. But only the VM. You're still as mobile as you ever were.

Yup, and one snapshot restore later that wiped phone is back and running with nobody the wiser (once you block net access at the VM level). Oh, and the encryption key is stored on the drive or in the virtualized TPM (that you can trivially query from outside the VM) if it doesn't require a password to boot. Then again, it is virtualization, so it must be good for corporate IT, right? :)

Today's phones don't have the hardware to pull this off effectively. But, tomorrow's phones will arrive.

Well, today's phone have more power than the fanciest workstations that existed 15 years ago, and yet they struggle to run word processors/etc. I have yet to see a word processor for Android that is feature-equivalent to Word for Windows v2, and yet that ran on 20MHz PCs and consumed probably half a megabyte of RAM with a few MB of installed files. It is hard to find notepad apps for android that work in those constraints.

So, no doubt by the time every phone is dual-core we'll just have twice as many threads drawing rounded corners as we do today. :)

Re:A great idea, if they pull it off! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37331246)

Or just use an iPhone.

Re:A great idea, if they pull it off! (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about 3 years ago | (#37332670)

Today's phones don't have the hardware to pull this off effectively. But, tomorrow's phones will arrive.

define "tomorrow".

what evidence is there that mobile devices will ever, in the foreseeable future anyway, have the excess battery power to run a VM? the problem is that as batteries get better, they invent new hardware to consume the battery. batteries for the most part are always just barely good enough to run the hardware, and hardware and the software it runs are limited by the battery.

speed (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#37329766)

VM's are not speed daemons, neither are phones is this really worth the effort because no one at samsung has figured out that you can have different sessions without having to boot 2 os's

Re:speed (1)

ckaminski (82854) | about 3 years ago | (#37330754)

<quote> VM's are not speed daemons</quote>

That is true if you're counting I/O, where the extra abstraction layer adds overhead (but which is diminishing with every hardware generation).

In terms of actual CPU computation ability, there's no difference between running on bare-metal and in a VM.

Yes this is worth the effort, because Android wasn't built to be multi-user (which is where I assume you're trying to take this argument). Putting in a hardware level hypervisor would be easier, in some respects, than re-engineering Android. Nevermind it makes the surety of a remote-kill more palatable to IT security types.

Re:speed (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#37330880)

I must be running the wrong VM, whenever I run an OS in vm ware its noticeably slower than real metal, Its perfectly useable but its no faster than the PC I had 2 PC's ago

Re:speed (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about 3 years ago | (#37331480)

You're both right.

There is obviously some performance loss with a VM, as anything that it tries to do that is privileged will result in a fault that the hypervisor has to deal with.

But, if the hypervisor has extra knowledge of the underlying OS (which is the only code that should be doing privileged things...user space doesn't do that), some of the performance loss can be mitigated. You can also have hardware that works better with virtualization, like the latest Intel chips allowing individual PCIe paths to be virtualized or passed directly to the VM.

Re:speed (1)

lgw (121541) | about 3 years ago | (#37331568)

Are you doing a lot of I/O? 3D graphics? Old CPUs?

Normal user-mode code does run just as fast on a VM as native, there's nothing special happening in a virtualized environment until the kernel starts messing with hardware (I/O, page tables, etc, the stuff that needs to be virtual). OTOH, switching between running VMs is expensive - there's definitely overhead if you're actively using 2 or more at the same time (but that seems unlikely on a phone).

Chroot/Jail (1)

TerminaMorte (729622) | about 3 years ago | (#37329828)

Why run several instances of a kernel with all the overhead of a VM when you should just do chroot/jails? Especially with such limited CPU and RAM, just seems like a bad idea.

Re:Chroot/Jail (1)

James Carnley (789899) | about 3 years ago | (#37329926)

I don't think you can use Android to run WP7 using chroots and jails.

Re:Chroot/Jail (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#37329962)

No one wants WP7.
What we do want is to run mulitple full android OS at the same time.

Re:Chroot/Jail (1)

TerminaMorte (729622) | about 3 years ago | (#37330000)

How is that not able to run multiple full android OSes at the same time? Unless for some reason you want to have Android 2.2 and 2.3 running at the same time. Which seems pretty useless.

Re:Chroot/Jail (1)

James Carnley (789899) | about 3 years ago | (#37330164)

Then virtualize iOS then, I can't predict what OS you will need.

The fact is that there are useful applications and environments out there that someone will need to use since Android doesn't have an equivalent. It's the same reason we have virtual machines today.

Re:Chroot/Jail (1)

TerminaMorte (729622) | about 3 years ago | (#37330402)

Quote: "will let Android phones use virtual machine technology to run a second instance of Android"

We're are not talking about virtualizing different operating systems on android here, just Android under Android. Sheesh, read the description of the article at least if you don't read the article.

Re:Chroot/Jail (1)

billcopc (196330) | about 3 years ago | (#37330076)

I don't think anyone in their right mind will want to run WP7 anyway. Certainly not if they have something slightly less shit like a late-model Android.

Re:Chroot/Jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37329946)

because it's vmware. nobody excels at poorly-engineered platform hacks like vmware does.

Re:Chroot/Jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37330136)

Because none of the companies screwing around with embedded Linux have the slightest fucking clue how to use it properly.

Re:Chroot/Jail (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 3 years ago | (#37331148)

Speak for yourself. A company I just finished a contract for is doing just fine with embedded linux.

Java VM (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 3 years ago | (#37329866)

I thought Android was already all about a Java VM. So... just start another Java instance?

But it seems silly to do all that just to swap out your profile data.

HA HA !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37329994)

This is a yoke !! It's dead before it gets in throught the out door, just like Bonham !!

One useful application (1)

Megahard (1053072) | about 3 years ago | (#37330010)

If you have 2 phones on one device, use one to call the other, to get out of meetings or awkward conversations.

virtualbox (-1, Troll)

kiwirob (588600) | about 3 years ago | (#37330026)

Why bother with VMWARE. Given Googles history of stealing code from Sun why don't hey just use VirtualBox and pretend it was a clean room implementation.

Re:virtualbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37330142)

Maybe they don't be like Apple and higher a full building full of top IP lawyers. I'm not saying Apple is bad or wrong for doing so, just that maybe Google is trying a different approach of using licensed code, rather then extending open source.

Re:virtualbox (-1, Troll)

kiwirob (588600) | about 3 years ago | (#37330236)

The recent court documents in Oracle vs Google show that Sun offered google a Java license and they decided just to use the code without a license. So Google deciding to start paying for other peoples software would be a 100% change in previous strategy of just borrow without paying.

Linux has Xen, KVM, and LXC, so why VMware? (1)

datajerk (63203) | about 3 years ago | (#37330128)

Android is based on Linux and Linux already has Xen, KVM, and LXC for virtualization. What would VMware add to the mix other than cost?

Xen and KVM can be a bit heavy handed, but LXC is lightweight and may be best suited for mobile virtualization (assuming that you only want to run instances of the host OS--a limitation of containers).

KVM is based on qemu and I already know that works with ARM--the processor of choice for smart mobile devices.

So, I do not see a need for VMware.

As for VM need: Given all the viruses and other nasties targeting Android, it'd be nice to have VM snapshotting (or any snapshotting) capability so that I can roll back. Or perhaps push my VM to "the cloud" and fire up on a replacement device or a friends phone with fully charged battery--assuming that I do not need to download 32 GB of data. I guess my state could be in the cloud, but my data in a different cloud. Given the impressive Javasciprt-based emulators I could get my VM from a browser. Anyway, there are possibilities. I do like the idea of a personal VM and a work VM and a VM for my wife when she borrows my phone.

Inefficiencies (1)

Superken7 (893292) | about 3 years ago | (#37330154)

Many people have addressed how this must be very inefficient. Well, I think if properly designed this shouldn't be much of an overhead. It depends if you really want to have both OSs running at the same time (lots of overhead) but you probably don't want to do that, or can work around it (most process certainly won't need to be running at the same time).

Also, hardware virtualization and hypervisors that allow paravirtualization might make it pretty efficient. Xen comes to my mind.

Give Me IOS Running In A VM (1)

I'm just joshin (633449) | about 3 years ago | (#37330176)

Personally, I'd love to be able to have IOS running as a separate VM. Then I could run the 3-4 IOS apps I like that just don't have a good Android equivalent.

Or worse case, run Android as a VM in IOS.

-J

That screaming you hear (1)

flappinbooger (574405) | about 3 years ago | (#37330232)

Is my battery.

Re:That screaming you hear (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 years ago | (#37330928)

One nice thing that you can commonly do with virtual machines is to suspend them.

Funny Name (1)

The Slowest Zombie (1591627) | about 3 years ago | (#37330250)

"Horizon Wireless" virtualization? You could condense those terms even more. Horization Wireless? No... hmm.... I've got it! Verizon Wi- oh wait.

more bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37330304)

So we see the beginnings of the bloat that infected desktop software beginning to infest the smartphone space.

VMs are not lightweight, even with HW virtualization support.

IDEA! (1)

trum4n (982031) | about 3 years ago | (#37330350)

Lets make them run ONE OS WELL first, then worry about running two?

I heard you like... (1)

the11thplague (1776646) | about 3 years ago | (#37330562)

I heard you like Android, so I put a VM on your Android so you can run Android while you run Android!

Re:I heard you like... (1)

empty mind (1355971) | about 3 years ago | (#37331068)

We need to go deeper

I thought it was LG & VMWare... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37330742)

almost a year ago...

http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/vmware-to-run-virtual-os-on-lg-android-cellphones-2010127/

Here's the thing (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 3 years ago | (#37331176)

I'm thinking the virtualization folks are waking up to the fact that the world is going mobile, like everyone else.

Plain stupidity pays these days (1)

Nikademus (631739) | about 3 years ago | (#37331192)

I find it really funny how companies succeed in making people think they may need this kind of crap.

Re:Plain stupidity pays these days (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | about 3 years ago | (#37332058)

Just because you do not have a use for it, does not mean others might find some utility in it. I can see it being tremendously useful in development, just like PC based virtualization.

Re:Plain stupidity pays these days (1)

Nikademus (631739) | about 3 years ago | (#37332166)

no, it's not useful for development either, you cannot develop a kernel for it as it's not the real hardware, and android SDK has an emulator already, which is faster than running it on a phone with whatever virtualization.
The only possible use I see is sandboxing, but again, it's overkill...

Virtual Blackberry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37331468)

I think RIM should take the lead on this and abandon hardware and virtualize blackberry. All their money can be made in BES/BIS and Virtual instances of Blackberry. The user can have an iPhone, Android, or WP7 device and still have their blackberry universe as well.

If I were RIM I would have started down this path about 18months ago. Then again. I am not RIM.

Re:Virtual Blackberry (1)

chmodman (565242) | about 3 years ago | (#37332326)

Yes, I agree! I need a blackberry only to connect to the enterprise server for work email, if there was an iphone app that ran a blackberry VM, perhaps I could finally abandon my BB. If anyone has ever tried to browse the web on a BB bold, you can feel my pain. iOS is superior in every way to BB OS.
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