Motorola to offer phones with VMware hypervisor, too

The handset maker joins LG and Samsung among those incorporating VMware's virtualisation technology in phones

Motorola Mobility has joined LG and Samsung among the companies building VMware's hypervisor into their phones. The move is part of a larger push at Motorola to cater to business users.

VMware's mobile hypervisor works on Android phones and lets users switch between an "open" portion of the phone, which they can use for personal functions, and a business side that's controlled by IT and protected from potentially malicious applications.

Motorola didn't share many details about its plans, such as which models will get the hypervisor and when, but it appears VMware may be planning to formally announce the partnership soon. A VMware spokeswoman said the company expected to announce other OEMs, besides LG and Samsung, "in the coming months." Those phone makers have pledged to build VMware's technology into all their phone models.

There are some downsides to the "dual-persona" approach to mobile virtualization, said an executive from Motorola. "The thing I haven't seen yet is a user experience consumers could embrace," said Christy Wyatt, vice president of enterprise at Motorola Mobility.

Consumers are constantly switching among apps on their phones. But to go from Facebook, for instance, on the personal side of the phone, to an email application on the business side, the user must sign into the business side of the phone separately. "It's not an organic experience," she said.

"We'd love to work with them on an experience that made it more comfortable for consumers," Wyatt said.

She pointed to a benefit of the dual-persona model. "One thing people get excited about with dual-persona is dual billing," she said. Virtualized phones offer the potential for enterprises to pay for employee use of corporate apps but not their personal apps.

"IT managers want to give smartphone devices out to a broader number of users but they're nervous about the cost of data," Wyatt noted. They worry about users who might use cellular data to stream video and rack up huge bills, for example. But if enterprises can track the typical data use of corporate apps and reimburse employees for just that data consumption, they will be more comfortable issuing mobile devices to more workers.

Instead of virtualization, Motorola is also offering products from 3LM, a company it acquired last year. 3LM secures Android devices via enterprise server software and an application on the phone. It offers device encryption, the ability to set blacklists or white lists of applications, password enforcement and the ability to wipe data remotely.

Motorola, HTC, LG, Sony Ericsson and Samsung are among the vendors building 3LM's technology into their phones.

Motorola also has a line of phones it calls Business Ready that includes features like password enforcement, remote wipe and a VPN client.

It also now offers resources for in-house developers of enterprise apps. Motorola already has extensive infrastructure through its Motodev program to support developers, Wyatt said. The company took some of those resources relevant for in-house developers and added additional support materials to offer Motodev for Enterprise, she said.

Motorola is coordinating its enterprise efforts through its Enterprise Business Unit, now headed by Wyatt. The company hopes to play a role in helping businesses navigate the mobile environment. "These are new challenges" for IT administrators, Wyatt said. IT administrators have only recently been faced with having to figure out how to manage phones that workers bring to the office and how to pay for the use of them.

It's important that companies like Motorola work hard to meet these new needs of IT workers, she said. "We'll have to adapt. The alternative is workers will send their email to a Gmail account, and then we'll have all failed," she said.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?