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Virtualization moves to centre of mobile agenda

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But other firms are pitching for this space too. http://www.ok-labs.com/ Open Kernel Labs (OK Labs) and server virtualization stalwart Citrix (currently a rumored acquisition target for Cisco) said this month that they will collaborate on the Citrix Receiver virtualization client, based on the OKL4 mobile hypervisor.

This combined product will let Android, Symbian or Windows Mobile phones display secure, virtualized desktop images – not as broad in concept as VMWare‘s MVP, but designed to provide easily deployed and securely managed access to enterprise and desktop applications from wireless devices.

OKL last week announced OK:Symbian, a virtualized version of Symbian OS, which can then be used as a guest operating system on top of OKL4.

This lets Symbian developers or vendors run multiple mobile OSes or multiple instances of the Symbian platform on a single device, and migrate Symbian apps to new hardware. Suppliers can also put Symbian on far cheaper hardware to spread the software platform to budget markets, said OKL – another key objective of mobile virtualization specialists.

"This is the first step of the coming together of mobile phone and enterprise virtualization," OKL’s CEO Steve Subar told Linuxdevices.com. "This solution can easily deliver applications to mobile users, including delivering Windows applications on phones that don't run Windows. Corporate users only want to carry one mobile device, so there needs to be an easy interface to open and manage content.”

While OKL concentrates mainly on Symbian, VirtualLogix was the first to get virtualization on to midrange handsets running Android, announcing this at Mobile World Congress in February.

It showed a version of its VLX virtualization stack for Android, running on an ST-Ericsson ARM9-based reference design. This used a version of the existing VLX-MH (Mobile Handsets), and the firm also makes VLX-DM (Digital Media) and VLX-NI (Network Infrastructure), plus a new variant for mobile internet devices.

Unlike enterprise virtualization products such as VMWare, which abstract all physical hardware for easier installation and configuration, VLX lets guest OSes access physical hardware subsystems directly, for faster performance, VirtualLogix explains. However, developers can securely isolate critical applications.

Copyright © 2009, Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch is published by Rethink Research, a London-based IT publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter delivers in-depth analysis and market research of mobile and wireless for business. Subscription details are here.

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