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Dual Interface Mobile Devices To Address BYOD Issue

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the dr.-jekyll-and-mr.-angry-birds dept.

Cellphones 116

Lucas123 writes "Next year, smart phones will begin shipping with the ability to have dual identities: one for private use and the other for corporate. Hypervisor developers, such as VMware and Red Bend, are working with system manufacturers to embed their virtualization software in the phones, while IC makers, such as Intel, are developing more powerful and secure mobile device processors. The combination will enable mobile platforms that afford end users their own user interface, secure from IT's prying eyes, while in turn allowing a company to secure its data using mobile device management software. One of the biggest benefits dual-identity phones will offer is enabling admins to wipe corporate data from phones without erasing end users profiles and personal information."

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116 comments

Battery life (2)

thb3 (19142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42109849)

The only major concern I have is battery life. You don't see any figures from the manufacturers or the hypervisor companies (aka. VMware) as to what this will do to the already short battery life of a smart phone that is heavily used. Additionally, what incentive does a customer have to buy a device that supports this? Granted a company could prefer one or the other, but the days of "You own X device or Y device only (ie. Blackberry - no iPhone)" are over and it defeats the purpose of BYOD.

Re:Battery life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42109967)

If battery life is your major concern you haven't spent much time really thinking about this. How do you know that the two identities really are separate, and there's no bleed through (in either direction)? Hypervisor != secure. In fact, there are several vulnerabilities that take advantage of the virtual abstraction layer to jump across virtual machines. Don't get me wrong. It would be downright handy to have personal / business in one device, but when what you do is sensitive it's not really that hot of an idea.

Re:Battery life (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110221)

If what you do is actually sensitive, you shouldn't be using a 'smart' device.

Re:Battery life (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year and a half ago | (#42111343)

If what you do is actually sensitive, you shouldn't be using a 'smart' device.

If what you do is actually sensitive, you shouldn't be using a device.smarter than you. FTFY

Re:Battery life (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112053)

not neccarily. There are smart phones purpose built for the task, I know boeing is working on one.

Re:Battery life (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112511)

Virtualization will allow tailoring the execution environment to make it so dumbed-down it only meets the minimal requirements for the particular application.

Of course, this assumes the hypervisor itself earns trust, which will probably take years to get right.

Re:Battery life (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | about a year and a half ago | (#42113883)

If what you do is sensitive, then it shouldn't be on a mobile device.

Re:Battery life (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110971)

Some hypervisors are extremely efficient. The one on IBM's POWER7 series is extremely thrifty at watts/CPU usage, especially when handling numerous virtual machines with their virtual processors.

It could also be something as simple as having multiple cores, several being lower speed/lower power, and the virtual machines that are not in use being scheduled to run on those. When they gain the user's attention, the VM in use gets moved to the faster CPU. Combine this with some power management (no apps running == VM is essentially taking no CPU overhead), and this wouldn't be too hard on battery life.

However, if the VM is completely isolated, similar to a Bochs VM, turning on and off power becomes a lot harder.

how many people will buy these phones? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42109863)

more ram, more processor speed - these are premium handsets. How many field services / manufacturing / field sales low- mid-tier employees will buy these expensive handsets simply so that the employer can have their version of dual-OS security installed on them?

Corporate data can be contained by many mobile security vendors today. This appears to be an overly complex solution to a problem that is already solved today.

For the record... (2)

SpzToid (869795) | about a year and a half ago | (#42109877)

Jolla's Sailfish OS/hardware (not sure what exactly at this early date) can run the Mer as well as Android OS. So Jolla does more than multiple user accounts on a single phone.

Re:For the record... (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110739)

Jolla's Sailfish OS/hardware (not sure what exactly at this early date) can run the Mer as well as Android OS. So Jolla does more than multiple user accounts on a single phone.

Err, of course it can run Mer. Sailfish OS is based on Mer. It's also using Xorg and a pretty standard software stack, so multiple user accounts is trivial.

I think you're completely missing the point of the article, unless you can clarify how it is relevant?

Once again RIM leads the way (3, Informative)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year and a half ago | (#42109919)

It's already available. [blackberry.com]

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (2, Informative)

Dogbertius (1333565) | about a year and a half ago | (#42109973)

It's already available. [blackberry.com]

Pretty much. Wasn't this feature announced months ago? I see it posted as far back as August on some sites. This isn't even news.

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (4, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42109993)

If you have to carry a blackberry, you already have to carry a second device for personal use.

So that does not really help.

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42110219)

no you don't. all i carry is a BlackBerry and I have all my music etc along with my personal perimeter... what some people are complaining about has nothing to do with the BlackBerry it all has to do with how the IT department locks down the device.... if apple or android devices were being handled by these IT departments they would be even more locked down because of their inherent insecurity...

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year and a half ago | (#42111163)

yes but can you play angry birds!!!

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112847)

On my PlayBook and BB 10...Yes I Can! [blackberry.com]

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110433)

What bothers me is if Apple/Google came out with this first, the fanbois would soil themselves screaming how epically awesome the feature was and how they couldn't imagine surviving without it. In fact, I am certain that once Apple/Google comes out with this, they will proceed to do just that, not forgetting to claim that it was an unheard of innovation that their respective object of worship was first to release. Meanwhile, most reliable communication devices, along with most of the innovation that paved the way for the "cool" devices, are quietly being developed by the "uncool" RIMs and Nokias of the world. *shrug*

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42110623)

FFS, no one even mentioned them. How is a rabid hater like you any better, whining about it in a completely unrelated topic?

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

morcego (260031) | about a year and a half ago | (#42111089)

I think most people will agree a good part of corporate phone making is catching up with blackberry.

Not that their phones don't suck (they do), but Blackberry have known what corporations wanted and have been implementing it for a long time. They only forgot about the users. Oops, bad mistake. And off they go.

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year and a half ago | (#42111185)

BB10 may resolve this a bit.. the question is is bb going to continue catchup, innovate or die?

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

morcego (260031) | about a year and a half ago | (#42111369)

BB10 may resolve this a bit.. the question is is bb going to continue catchup, innovate or die?

Yeah, I've read a little and saw a little about BB10. However, I find it hard to believe it can gain much market at this point. Not with Apple and Google so entrenched, and with Microsoft trying to carve a niche. Too little too late, if you ask me. But hey, Apple raised from the ashes when everyone was saying the same thing about them, so we have to wait and see. However unlikely, it is still possible.

What I don't understand is why Microsoft didn't zero in on Blackberry and, before anything else, took the corporate market, instead of this losing war against BOTH Apple (entrenched positions) and Google (moving target). Blackberry had a big bullseye right in their collective foreheads and MS could have taken their market share and get a consolidated position in the corporate market before either Apple or Google could react. After that, they would be in a much better position to attack the consumer market.

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year and a half ago | (#42111815)

From corporate stand point, we keep coming back to security and control of a corporate device (i.e BB) or user (desire/useability/shinyness?) of BYOD (Droid iPhone). After a year of allowing BYOD (about 50 percent switched to BYOD). some have actually switched back because the actual phone functionality is better on the BB.
I have a droid and a BB, i use the maps/browser on the droid and use the BB for calls and email. so a BB10 may actually be best of both for this niche... the question i guess is what is the long term goal of BB. just get enough of a bang to jump the stock up before selling out... actually try to plan a resurgence or slowly die as all users jump ship as other vendors get better at the phone/security.

the MS question is interesting. IMHO MS is just arrogant enough to think they can do it all their way. a BB and MS merger? would require MS to say ok Linux has a place :)

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

morcego (260031) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112085)

The consumer market is not "phone and e-mail". It is facebook, twitter, whatsapp, angry birds and instagram. If we are talking purely phone calls, I have a feature phone here (nokia) that does it better than any droid/iPhone/BB around.

I agree with your views regarding the long term goal(s) of BB. It is hard to make technical predictions about public traded companies. Their ultimate "product" is, after all, their stocks.

And no, I don't think MS merging with BB would be they saying ok to Linux. Hotmail was Linux. Nokia was very much a Linux shop. For them getting a Linux shop and turning it into a Win shop is just another day in the park. But that I really don't see happening. It would be easier for them (along with Nokia) to just grab that market. They have the means to do it and, at least until BB10 is released, the market is all open for the taking. After BB10, it might be an entirely different game.

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

Nethead (1563) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112411)

Hotmail was FreeBSD.

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

devilspgd (652955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42114635)

a BB and MS merger? would require MS to say ok Linux has a place :)

How so? BlackBerry Smartphones don't run Linux, they run a mostly proprietary OS with heavy Java integration. BB10 and PlayBook run QNX, which is an independent micro-kernel with a POSIX interface. Given that Windows itself has a POSIX subsystem (admittedly it's in the process of being depreciated), this wouldn't be a difficult pill for Microsoft to swallow.

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42110505)

No, I don't.

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

lucm (889690) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110035)

They now lead the way for 1.6% of the market... Meanwhile an IDC study says that for the first time Apple and Android devices are about to beat RIM in the enterprise.

The dude from Morgan Stanley sums it up: "While some of the new features on BB10 seem innovative, we had a similar reaction to Palm’s WebOS when we saw it at CES in ‘09".
(See http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1293791--rim-tumbles-as-blackberry-s-u-s-market-share-drops-to-1-6-per-cent [thestar.com] )

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110231)

Time will tell...Of course if you asked me if I wanted the phone that can run Android apps or the one that runs iOS apps OR the one that can run Android/iOS/HTML5/FLASH/Adobe AIR/etc. apps I'm picking the latter phone my friend.

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

batkiwi (137781) | about a year and a half ago | (#42111565)

You can already do this on android and iphone as well with encrypted containers like Good ( http://www.good.com/ [good.com] ).

The point of virtualising is that it means the OS is COMPLETELY seperate. If you want to upgrade to android 5.3.2 aka "footlong hotdog" (they ran out of dessert names), but your company is still on 4.6.1, you can. If your company image can only send packets via VPN and disallows app installation, you can still do what you want with YOUR image.

Blackberry's seperation is just at the app layer.

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

maxhead (5778) | about a year and a half ago | (#42114397)

My issue with the Good approach (apart from the fact that they sue companies they can't effectively compete against...) is that it takes you out of the native user experience which is the reason the owner chose that device in the first place. Using either an MDM SDK or app wrapping technology to secure the corporate apps and data preserves the native UX, secures the data, and doesn't have the overhead of a virtual OS approach.

Re:Once again RIM leads the way (1)

devilspgd (652955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42114649)

BlackBerry also separates the data layer. Save a document to an SD card from your corporate email and try to send it from your personal email? You can't. But you can send it from your corporate email.

It's not the same as fully virtualizing, but it creates a nice data firewall between corporate and personal data.

BlackBerry ... BB10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42109961)

Sad that BB10 is not mentioned since it will have this feature bult into the OS. Fire an employee, wipe the corporate side of their BB10 and the employee gets to keep all their personal stuff like Angry Birds. No virutalization is needed. The BB10 OS does this out of box!

Re:BlackBerry ... BB10 (1)

partyguerrilla (1597357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110501)

I'm sure the 14 Blackberry users left will be enthralled by these news.

Re:BlackBerry ... BB10 (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year and a half ago | (#42111195)

woo hoo, oh... hey now

Re:BlackBerry ... BB10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42110679)

heyyyyyyy, this is slashdot; it's all about apple for the people that come here nowadays...

this website doesn't claim to be for nerds anymore - if you like computers and technology, and the great things you can do with them, then you're in the wrong place buddy.

curiosity should be limited to what's new on itunes, that's the stuff that matters!

ukash kart (-1)

dreamymost (2726449) | about a year and a half ago | (#42109989)

yukash.com Kredi kart kullanmadan ödeme yapabilmenizi salayan Ukash; online ödeme sistemi kullanlan internet sitelerinde geçerli 19 haneli ifreden oluan bir para yükleme yöntemidir. Ukash sayesinde kimlik bilgilerinizi kimseyle paylamadan güvenli alveri yapabilirsiniz.

Re:ukash kart (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42110045)

I'll be darned! An actual mechanical Turk!

AT&T Toggle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42109997)

I believe AT&T already offers something like this -

https://www.wireless.att.com/businesscenter/solutions/industry-solutions/mobile-productivity-solutions/toggle.jsp

YO DAWG (4, Insightful)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110007)

we heard you like to compute while you talk, so we put your boss's computer in your phone so you can slave away 24/7!

like what unix did for the last 40 years? (2)

alexandre_ganso (1227152) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110027)

Seriously, what is so difficult about having a multi-user phone OS when Linux or Darwin is running the underpinnings?

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110111)

I thought i read somewhere that android is structured to use user accounts for each app as part of their separation model.

If that's accurate than the normal 'multiple-user' model can't also be simultaneously used.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42110367)

you can work around that by having finer-grained unix UIDs representing app+user.

but the real problem is the entire platform not being designed to understand apps running on behalf of different users or changing which user is present and active on the user interface elements. can the non-present user have any apps fire notifications, manipulate network state, prevent sleep, send or receive SMS, access the internet, etc? if so, can the present user override any of this?

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (1)

alexandre_ganso (1227152) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110401)

This looks like windows xp for me. In theory, it was multiuser-capable, in practice, because of some very obvious design flaws, not quite so....

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (1)

jon3k (691256) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110131)

I assumed it was lack of hypervisor support baked into the cpu. Trying to do it in software would be a mess I would think, and have a significant performance penalty on an already not-that-incredibly-powerful device.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (3, Insightful)

Rennt (582550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110451)

The point is you don't need (or even want) a hypervisor when you have a secure multi-user system with process isolation like Android.

Lack of a hypervisor support baked into the CPU is only a problem for hypervisor vendors.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (3, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110749)

The point is you don't need (or even want) a hypervisor when you have a secure multi-user system with process isolation like Android.

The processes might be isolated, but data access is not. Did you just give the Twitter app SD Card read/write access to the filesystem where the company data is? What could possibly go wrong?

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42114457)

Did you just give the Twitter app SD Card read/write access to the filesystem where the company data is?

No, the Twitter app is chrooted to /mnt/sdcard/twitter/

Devil's advocate (would want this system) (3, Informative)

mlts (1038732) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110925)

Devil's advocate here. Having a low level hypervisor on the phone is something I've wanted for a long time. There are reasons that having two OS stacks that don't "see" each other on a level 1 hypervisor system would be , and it is less to deal with technical than legal reasons.

Reason 1: I can fire off a "kill" command from Exchange, and the business part gets zonked. The phone still is trackable and locatable. I can do this with a text message and TouchDown, but this way, all data related to work (or even perhaps a client) is gone, and assuming everything is encrypted with a key, I can be sure that the data is rendered unrecoverable, not just deleted or "wiped" (overwriting three times does not work with flash media due to wear levelling unless the low level controller is told to zap the individual cells themselves.)

Reason 2: Separation. I can sign off on the fact that there is absolutely -zero- mingling of personal and work/client data other than being on the same physical hardware (the same way a mainframe can separate LPARs). Confidential stuff never touches the same filesystem as personal data, so a rogue app that gets root would not be able to rummage inside the latest TPS reports.

With how contacts get slurped up by apps, someone storing work related contacts on their phone is likely going to have them vacuumed up by an app, which will aid greatly for spamming, as well as directed attacks (from a contact list with titles, org structures can be deduced, etc.) So, keeping business contacts completely away from personal ones, or contacts addressible by Facebook [1].

Having stuff completely separate minimizes the chance of "leakage". I can sort of do this with Android, but on the iPhone, there is no app like RoadSync or Touchdown to keep the Exchange stuff separate.

Reason 3: Legal/tax reasons. Having stuff separate also makes the legal eagles happy.

Of course, hypervisors are not perfect, but what they provide is separation that is useful in a legal sense (separate filesystems, separate CPU usage, separate RAM images.) It is easier to explain complete separation/isolation to a jury who hates your guts than to explain how unlikely it would be for a root exploit that would allow user "a" in a multi-user system to access user "b"'s stuff, from happening.

So, even though keeping work stuff in a single app is a working solution, the best from both a technical and legal viewpoint would be a level 1 hypervisor.

[1]: If I remember right, there was a bug in the FB app that might alter contacts about a year ago, and that would not be good with work stuff.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (1)

alexandre_ganso (1227152) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110465)

What are you talking about? Any 16mhz, 2mb ram 386 computer from 1985 is capable of running a multi-user OS. There is no penalty performance AT ALL. This is how Linux was built (and don't forget what runs under Android) from day one.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year and a half ago | (#42111009)

ARM chips have "world" support (TrustZone). This is pretty much most of a hypervisor except for the filesystem redirects. However, it allows two completely separate VMs to run without them seeing or affecting each other on a CPU die basis.

Since this is done at a low level, it is a lot harder to bypass than just having a hypervisor in software.

They are powerful (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year and a half ago | (#42111035)

This "not-that-incredibly-powerful device" is a fucking monster compared to the Unix workstation you used 20 years ago.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (2)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110211)

Android 4.2 (at least on tablets) supports multiple users. Not sure if this feature is enabled on phones (4.1.2 is the latest I've used).

Not sure why you'd need a hypervisor.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42110425)

I can confim that my 4.2 Galaxy Nexus phone supports multiple users.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110475)

Android 4.2 (at least on tablets) supports multiple users. Not sure if this feature is enabled on phones (4.1.2 is the latest I've used). Not sure why you'd need a hypervisor.

You'd need a hypervisor so that you can have completely separate OS's for the personal and corporate side, so that a user with root access to the personal OS would still have only controlled access to the corporate side and so that software (including OS) updates for the corporate side could be managed completely separately from software on the personal side.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (1)

grumpy_old_grandpa (2634187) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110341)

Spot on! A multi-user platform is a solved problem. However, some people always have to over-engineer.

A different question is if I as an employee would trust my company to control the device I have for personal use, or even blur the line between work and play. My current answer to that is: No! Thus, I have two mobile phones, two phone numbers, two e-mail inboxes. Work and play are two different spheres, and it stays that way.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110507)

Thus, I have two mobile phones, two phone numbers, two e-mail inboxes. Work and play are two different spheres, and it stays that way.

2 phones at twice the price to operate. A partitioned phone sounds like it might be a lot cheaper in the long run.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42111895)

"2 phones at twice the price to operate. A partitioned phone sounds like it might be a lot cheaper in the long run."

But the employee loses true control of the device OR the employer does. Is there only one SIM?

So the employee gets another phone anyway.

So no change.

And two separate single purpose phones are probably actually cheaper as there's no premium to be paid for this "feature".

It's a pain to carry two phones, but less of a pain than all of the othe crap.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (1)

turbidostato (878842) | about a year and a half ago | (#42111789)

"Thus, I have two mobile phones, two phone numbers, two e-mail inboxes. Work and play are two different spheres, and it stays that way."

Meanwhile I recently bought a cheap chinese dual SIM phone (a JIAYU JY-G2) that rides circles around my previous Samsung Galaxy S and allows those two phone numbers and e-mail inboxes for two different spheres without the hassle of two phones.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42115255)

Some moron wrote:

Spot on! A multi-user platform is a solved problem.

Wow, are you retarded or are you really just this clueless?

If you honestly think that multi-user support solves the problem, you obviously don't understand the problem!

However, some people always have to over-engineer.

No, some people actually need to solve the problem!

Who let you access a computer anyhow? I have to assume someone with your cognitive skills is in some kind of supervised care facility.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110747)

Because for the user space they completely reinvented the wheel instead of using what they had. So they have to do like Windows 9x and graft multiple user accounts on to it.

Had Android used existing Linux infrastructure, they would have had the capability from day one, but Google insisted on keeping it all in house.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (2)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110789)

Seriously, what is so difficult about having a multi-user phone OS when Linux or Darwin is running the underpinnings?

It's a matter of how Android uses Linux.

Android makes very extensive use of Users and Groups for the normal permissions protection. However, instead of using a user/group like you do on your Linux server or desktop, they give one to each individual application (user) or set of applications (group). So only applications by the same developer that the developer has marked as being able to be part of the same group can access the stuff by a given group; and only applications running as the same user - typically the various components of the Android app (e.g. Activity, Content Provider, etc.) - can see each other/talk to each other.

So unless you create some kind of super-group/super-user and the existing users+groups are subsets of that, it would be hard to do permissions how Android does them and have multiple people with different user identities on the same device without using a hypervisor to switch between users.

Re:like what unix did for the last 40 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42111039)

If I had to guess, I'd say it's the same reason we have things like BSD jails. You could make similar arguments about them; "Why would we ever need jails when BSD is fully multi-user?".

Finally. Now what about the power user. (2)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110047)

Finally someone realizes not all users are the same. Now if they would release an interface for power users without time-wasting transitions, silly skewmorphics, lame swipes and minus the overall nursery-age feel, mobile devices will take the next big step forward.

Fail To See The Point (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110073)

I don't understand who this would be attractive to, outside control-freak American corporations.

As a private citizen, why the hell would I want my personal phone to be designed in a way that allows the company I work for to take control of it and access my personal data (separate partitions be damned - when they take the device out of your view for "updates," what guarantee do you have they aren't hacking or imaging it? None)?

As a business owner, why the hell would I want sensitive company data to be stored locally on the personal device of an employee? What guarantee do I have that said employee won't try to access the information without permission, or better yet, take the phone and try to sell it to one of my competitors?

Now, say I was one of those aforementioned control-freak corporations - I would find this a wonderful idea! Not only would it give me an excuse and method to constantly track employees during their off time (oh, see, we're only monitoring the business partition of your phone, so it's totally legit!), it would also be one more frond on the proverbial cat-O-nine that I use to subjugate and mentally manipulate the people who work for me into docile compliance!

Perhaps I'm being excessively cynical, but I fail to see any positive value to such a system.

Bingo. (2, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110199)

This is the wrong solution to a very real problem - how can a machine get used for personal as well as private access? The answer is, if I have to boot (or even switch to) a separate account to do my personal activities, either they will get done on the work account (compiling - might as well check ./.) or they won't get done at all. I see no use in the "personal" device usage - if I need that, I'm going to use a tablet or my home device.

The solution is to provide proper incentive, security and usage guidance, and a strong security stance so your employees use the work devices for appropriate personal activity.

Now, get back to work, DIY - I want to see your TPS reports on my desk by tomorrow morning!

Re:Bingo. (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110999)

This is one thing I was curious about.

So I have a phone which has a "business" partition and a "personal" partition. That's great. But if I have to restart the phone to switch between the two, it's not all that useful because--no matter what--I will be in the wrong partition.

Suppose the office calls with some random emergency while I'm at home. Okay, I was home, and my phone was on the "personal" partition. Now I have to restart the phone to get to the "business" partition. So I'll hang up and call you back.

I'm at work on my way to visit some customer and the wife calls about something. My phone is on the "business" partition. "Hang on, Hon--I'll call you back once I reboot my phone."

No thanks. I'd rather have two phones.

Re:Bingo. (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112575)

Okay, I was home, and my phone was on the "personal" partition. Now I have to restart the phone to get to the "business" partition. So I'll hang up and call you back.

No. The point of this is to do better than what you described (which amounts to just having two different sim cards for your phone):

During the demo, if the phone was displaying the private user interface and a phone call came in from a person listed in the phone's corporate contact list, the device automatically changed interfaces to the business instance. The phone smoothly moved between the two distinct interfaces.

Re:Fail To See The Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42110205)

As a business owner, why the hell would I want sensitive company data to be stored locally on the personal device of an employee? What guarantee do I have that said employee won't try to access the information without permission, or better yet, take the phone and try to sell it to one of my competitors?

If you're that distrustful of your employees then you have other things to worry about.

Re:Fail To See The Point (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110259)

As a business owner, why the hell would I want sensitive company data to be stored locally on the personal device of an employee? What guarantee do I have that said employee won't try to access the information without permission, or better yet, take the phone and try to sell it to one of my competitors?

If you're that distrustful of your employees then you have other things to worry about.

Right, because company loyalty is such a common attribute these days.

I'm gonna guess you don't actually run anything more complex than a gas station cash register, so I'll give you this important business tip as a freebie - blindly trust someone to guard your gold, and it will be stolen, for all men have their price.

Re:Fail To See The Point (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110661)

Err, so do you not have printers at your office? Do you squirt epoxy into all the USB ports? How do you keep your employees from looking at corporate data on their monitors?

If you mistrust your employees to the point that you don't entrust them with corporate data, the problems are far bigger than whether or not they take their meeting notes on their own iPad or the (lack of) iPad you provided them.

Re:Fail To See The Point (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110897)

Err, so do you not have printers at your office?

Print queues can be monitored.

Do you squirt epoxy into all the USB ports?

USB ports can be disabled administratively.

How do you keep your employees from looking at corporate data on their monitors?

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

This is first-year stuff.

Re:Fail To See The Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42111867)

PLOP is meaningless unless you're also screening the employees for cameras and other outside devices before entering the premises. Then you have to worry about pencil and paper. So you gotta search them for notes. What about those fancy glasses - I hope they don't have any embedded cameras in them...

So this goes back to employee trust. If you don't trust your employees then you can't trust them not to hand off your data to competitors REGARDLESS of whether or not they own a company phone /w such information.

Look, the argument you should have gone for was that you don't want that phone stolen by someone who would then use that information nefariously.

Re:Fail To See The Point (1)

dhammabum (190105) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110265)

This happens all the time. Not so much selling the info to competitors but sales people taking their client's info when they leave the company, often to go work for a competitor. There is also people losing their phones along with corporate data. Best that data never leave the premises.

Re:Fail To See The Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42110681)

I walked in and out, daily, with the corporate "crown jewels": the entire source code tree for our most successful product. I don't know if the company knew, but I didn't care, anyway. A. I'm not so irresponsible that I'm going to hand out copies or lose my laptop so someone can poke around; the company paid me well because I'm smarter than that. And B. the code was shite, anyway. There wasn't a portion of it that didn't belong on Daily WTF. I can't even say my portions didn't belong because I had to write shit code just to meet somewhere in the middle of the festering pile created by others.

I've since left the company, but I haven't deleted my code tree, yet. Kinda lazy, but, also, I still get back channel calls for help, now and then, and I don't mind helping friends left behind. But, that doesn't mean I'm going to hand over what I have to Roche, or Abbott, etc.

More Important (0)

Cinquain (185030) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110101)

How about adding hardware encryption so Google can't read your messages or contacts!

Not really.... (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110189)

Until they can have dual SIM cards and run on two networks at the same time, it will be useless. If the company wants me to have a cellphone, they can pay for one. I prefer to keep both lines separate so I can completely ignore work the second I leave the office.

Re:Not really.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42110357)

Must be nice.

Re:Not really.... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110493)

It is. I get job offers monthly, you can too, just start leaning a career that is in demand instead of being one of the masses that has thousands that can easily replace you. I change my career every 7 years to avoid being a common worker. In fact it's time for me to start learning a new one so I can switch in about 3 years.

Re:Not really.... (2)

mlts (1038732) | about a year and a half ago | (#42111037)

Even with one SIM card, that can be virtualized as well. Skype and Google Voice do a good job at giving one a usable number.

I can see cellphone providers jumping on the bandwagon as well with this and offering a passthrough service, so the only thing the SIM card is used for is authorizing network usage.

Re:Not really.... (1)

Mars Saxman (1745) | about a year and a half ago | (#42111177)

Hear, hear. The people who use their personal phones or laptops to do official work confuse me. I've never been asked to do such a thing and have no idea why I would want to. I had a business cell phone once but that was just because it was a small company with no PBX; I just left the phone on my desk like any other office phone. Never had any problems, and I never had any risk that my employer might have any knowledge of my personal email or phone conversation.

Re:Not really.... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42112651)

Until they can have dual SIM cards and run on two networks at the same time,

Dual sim phones have existed for the better part of a decade, but never took off in America.

The reason dual and tri sim phones took off overseas is that, in many countries, callling between networks is more expensive than staying in-network.
So everyone just gets multiple phone lines in order to keep in touch with their friends on different networks.

/The first quad sim phone came out in 2010, but there aren't hundreds of models like there are with triple sim phones.

Re:Not really.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42115315)

And there are none of them that are decently built or run the latest Android.

Every single multi sim phone I have seen and tried was a huge piece of junk running a fake look alike OS or was running a horribly out of date os like Android 2.2.2

Who pays? (2)

jdastrup (1075795) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110315)

Many companies currently pay for personal phone plans if they use them for business, or at least give them some credit; flat fee or usage based. With these dual identity phones, will you need two phone plans? For many people that may make their own personal phone plan more expensive, especially if they were paying $0 before.

Interesting idea (1)

ALeader71 (687693) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110369)

I knew something was in the works when Cisco started making components like this two years ago. Now if we can just convince paranoid CISSP types to adopt this technology, setting up a corporate cellphone could be completed from an app store with a code.

dual sim cards (1)

Frontier Owner (2616587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110371)

do we get dual sim cards so I can make a personal call without corporate knowing who I called? Actually, I don't care. I call who I want, when AT&T will let me have a signal.

ho8o (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42110467)

Clearly become A BSD box that EFNet servers. market. Therefore, design Raaproach. As

Already there (2)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110585)

I can do the last part with our MDM software from a leading vendor®. Partial wipes work very well on Android and iOS devices.

That'll be just great (1)

Sketchly (1354369) | about a year and a half ago | (#42110671)

If you're schitzophrenic

Re:That'll be just great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42111949)

Who are you talking to?

Supported on Android only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42110933)

This capability is going to be available for the Android OS only. No such support will be available for Apple iOS so saying that smart phones will have this capability next year is somewhat misleading. Some smartphone will

Re:Supported on Android only (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42111151)

since when has apple made smart phones?

now that jobs is a goner you'd have thought people around here might be able to prize their mouthparts away from his rotting pecker, but no such luck. ah well, wassooon tele

Who's going to pay for it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42110943)

BYOD is the biggest scam going. Employers are laughing all the way to the bank, knowing they've successfully shifted a real cost of doing business from themselves to their employees. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but if I'm going to carry the leash, it's going to be one my employer pays for. I understand that Moore's Law is making all this more affordable, computationally speaking, but there's still going to be a cost delta between a smartphone that has these capabilities, and one that does not. Beefier CPU and more memory leads to greater power consumption which necessitates a bigger battery, which makes the phone bigger and more costly, and on and on... How many people will actually spend more of their own money to get a phone so their employer can install its digital leash on their new phone?!

A. Better Use Case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42111293)

Wouldn't tbis be more useful for people like Tiger Woods?

It's a lot easier to let your spouse check your phone and find nothing than convincing her that a Wizard Alien caused you to cheat.

software version is free in android market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42111995)

To name one app already available in the market, Divide https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.enterproid.divideinstaller&hl=en
It works quite well and seperate personal and work information. Remote wipe hits only work data and it uses encryption. My galaxy nexus doesn't seem to mind the overheard of the app. It integrates with our exchange environment quite easily.

"IC makers, such as Intel" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112173)

Bad summary, as this isn't in the article. intel is very much a tiny player in this market, and so a bad example.

Another Application (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42112807)

If a friend, family member, coworker loses their phone - and sufficient data is "in the cloud" - ought not it be possible for them to share my phone (or somebody else's preferably)?

If my coworker forgets his phone, it would be great if basic functionality could just iPort to another device especially as we are on the same plan and I can see all his calls on the bill in the invoice files.

FUCK THIS BYOD CRAP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42114001)

If my employer wants me to use a phone, laptop etc... as part of my job, he/they will provide the device, and it will stay on the employer's premises. I will NOT be on call, nor will an employer have any access to my personal devices. While many idiots these days are stupid enough to not keep work and home life seperate, I am not among them. My time outside of work hours is entirely my own. I bought and paid for MY devices. My employer will not have any access to either my devices nor my time outside of work hours!

The only device that I would take to work would be a phone. It would NOT be used for any work purposes whatsoever. It would be set on vibrate or turned off at work unless a personal circumstance made that unwise, such as a relative that could die at any moment etc...

This BYOD crap is just an attempt by employers to save a few bucks at employee's expense and take control of employee's devices.

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