Jerry Chen, director of enterprise desktop platforms and solutions at VMware, gave a live demonstration at the VMworld Europe 2009 conference in Cannes of the firm's Mobile Virtualisation Platform (MVP) running on a Nokia N800 smartphone.
"I want to be the first to have a phone that can have both my work and phone personalities and keep them completely separate," he said.
In front of the keynote audience, Chen started up and used a virtual machine running Windows Embedded CE 6.0, which for the sake of the demonstration he labelled as his work environment.
Chen then switched back to the MVP console and started a second virtual machine running the open-source Android platform as his personal environment, for access to personal email and web browsing.
Each virtual machine is under 40MB in size, according to Chen, which means that they fit easily into the Nokia 800's available memory space. The touch-screen interface worked under both environments.
MVP was first announced in November 2008, and is designed to bring the same benefits of virtualisation seen on PCs to mobile phones, according to VMware. This will include the ability for users to easily move their environment with their information and content to a new handset whenever they upgrade, as well as to keep separate profiles on one phone.
VMware also said that MVP will allow software vendors to create applications as "virtual appliances" that can run on any handset, regardless of the operating system. MVP is now in the evaluation phase with handset vendors, according to VMware, but the firm could not say when it might appear in production handsets.
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