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"There is opportunity to improve productivity by granting mobile access to company tools and services, to reduce costs by shifting the purchase of handsets and service agreements to employees, and to improve IT department efficiency through easy-to-use administrative tools," Scherer said.
Chris Ward, senior solutions architect at Greenpages, a solution provider in Kittery, Maine, said LG and VMware's model has potential, but he doesn't believe most current smartphones have the horsepower to handle multiple operating system instances.
"The phone hardware manufacturers are going to have to stop skimping on horsepower," said Ward. "Most handset vendors underpower the phones or give them just barely enough to run the OS that comes with the phone. It'll be interesting to see if they can provide the horsepower, keep costs reasonable and maintain decent battery life."
Other vendors would argue that the single device for work and play can be realized without the use of mobile virtualization. This has been one of Microsoft's key mantras for Windows Phone 7, a beefy OS that comes loaded with Office apps, Office 365 suite integration and all the consumer bells and whistles a mobile aficionado could ever want. Microsoft says its OEM partners sold 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 devices in the first six weeks after its launch.
Given the number of IT departments that are struggling with the single-device conundrum, there's a lot of pent-up demand in the marketplace for technologies that solve the problem. Alan Gould, president and CEO of Westlake Software, a wireless solution provider in Calabasas, Calif., believes there will ultimately be several different paths to this goal.
"The concept of getting down to a single device for everything is going to take many shapes, including point-and-shoot cameras losing out to smartphones. Users that are required to carry a personal phone and then one for business also will tell you this is highly desired," Gould said.