LONDON Embedded virtualization software provider Open Kernel Labs Inc. (Chicago, Ill.) has teamed up with Citrix Inc. and developed the "Nirvana phone" reference architecture. The idea is a smart phone that is able to work with a virtual desktop and email environment as provided by an enterprise.
The two companies have been quiet about who they are working with in terms of silicon and operating system providers, handset builders and network operators but claim to have an "ecosystem" in place that could deliver phones within 12 to 18 months.
The Nirvana platform would allow users to access their corporate virtual desktop and applications from a single device, in any location. Nirvana also offers support for docking to full-sized displays, keyboards, mice and other PC-type peripherals in an idea Open Kernel Labs calls Mobile to Enterprise, or M2E.
The Nirvana phone partnership includes semiconductor suppliers, handset OEMs, enterprise IT suppliers and mobile network operators, but Open Kernel Labs did not reveal any names apart from that of Citrix. Citrix has contributed its desktop virtualization and Open Kernel Labs the OKL4 mobile virtualization software. The Nirvana phone reference includes 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth communications and emerging mobile phone capabilities such as video and high-definition output. The operating system candidates include Android, other Linux distributions, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Symbian.
"The Nirvana phone takes smart phones to the next level by bringing M2E from paradigm to platform and ultimately to product," noted Chris Fleck vice president of community and solution development at Citrix, in a statement issued by Open Kernel Labs. "As HD video and other capabilities come on line in mobile chipsets, Citrix and OK Labs are working together to give OEMs a clear path to building handsets that meet the needs of IT organizations and mobile workers alike, delivering virtual desktops and applications to virtualized mobile devices."
"The Nirvana phone will provide groundbreaking capabilities without breaking IT budgets with exotic technology," said Steve Subar, president and CEO of OK Labs, in the same statement. "The Nirvana phone represents a near-term paradigm shift OK Labs, Citrix, and our ecosystem partners envision real-world converged nirvana devices enabled for both mobility and desktop productivity entering the market within 12 to 18 months."
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