Taking Back IT

Jan 10 2012   12:29PM GMT

VMware wants to virtualize your tablet, too

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

LAS VEGAS — VMware plans to bring mobile virtualization to tablets.

That’s the word from Hoofar Razavi, VMware’s mobile product management director, who met with me here at the International Consumer Electronics Show. Smartphones were a logical first step for mobile virtualization, because they’re so much more pervasive than tablets, Razavi said. But extending mobile virtualization to tablets is a “logical transition,” he said.

VMware Horizon Mobile uses a hypervisor to create an encrypted, IT-controlled work environment on users’ smartphones. The technology has not yet hit the market, but LG said yesterday that it should be on some of its phones within a few months.

The big issue for VMware mobile virtualization on tablets, as on smartphones, will be OS and device support. For now, Horizon Mobile will be available only on Android smartphones made by LG or Samsung and running on either the Verizon Wireless or Telefonica networks. Not having iOS support is a pretty big deal in the smartphone market, but it’s a much bigger deal in the tablet market, where the iPad has such a commanding lead.

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