back to article VMware, Citrix to have a crack at desktops on docked smartphones

VMware's going to have a crack at delivering desktops through smartphones. The new Samsung Galaxy S8, launched today, features new software called “DeX” that, when the phone is plugged into a dock of the same name, allows the phone to connect to mouse, keyboard and monitor. When the phone is docked, DeX can also offer what The …

  1. GingerOne

    Oh lordy! This has got my boss written all over it!

  2. AMBxx Silver badge

    Bound to be a success

    After all, you've been able to do this for 2 years with Windows Phone and they're taking over the world!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bound to be a success

      It will be interesting to see what happens. One factor that might be relevant is that 2 years ago the fastest non-Apple mobile cpu was the 810 which was a bit of a disaster - it got too hot inside phones. Now we're looking at the 835 which is much faster and supposed to run much cooler, so it might work adequately.

      As I recall, Windows 3 didn't really take off till the 80386, because running it on an 80186/V series or an 80286 wasn't a very nice experience.

      However, this isn't a prediction, just an observation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bound to be a success

        The main issue with the 286 was that once in protected mode, it needed a reset to get out of it. Windows 3.x needed real mode for some DOS tasks, but memory beyond 1MB was available only in protected mode. That slowed down things a lot, even on the fastest 286s. It needed a full CPU architecture change (the Virtual 86 mode, and being able to switch mode) to work, not just better performance. The 386 also introduced pagination which made memory management more powerful.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bound to be a success

      I've been thinking for years this sort of thing would take off, but it hasn't. I think the problem is that Continuum really needs an x86 CPU to be useful, because people who buy a Windows phone expect to run Windows apps.

      I think Samsung's problem will be that people don't want to run Android/Linux apps, though for simple stuff like email/browsing it should be fine. Maybe phones as PCs are what VMware needs for their solution to finally take off. Network computers never really worked out because desktop PCs / laptops became so cheap it wasn't worth it. With a phone as the "network computer" meaning you only need re-purposed monitor, keyboard and mouse, maybe it will.

      Still have to believe Apple would stand the best chance of success since they could recompile Mac apps as ARM64 to quickly allow people access to almost every Mac desktop app there is, and owning the full hardware/software stack would make for a lot more seamless solution. I think they'd be better off targeting at home users though, few enterprise users are running on a Mac, so in the enterprise they'd basically be limited to being a glorified network computer like DeX.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bound to be a success

        there have been previous attempts at this crossover and multiple current software and hardware attempts.

        the issue will be getting the Hardware powerful enough the software polished and price point and accessories to a critical mass of users to make the uptake snowball so people start to think I NEED this in my next phone.

        things that would make this easier (in android universe) would be a "universal dock" that all phones from a single manufacturer or even across manufacturers that would be compatible not only for current model but future models as this would make the proposition more appealing.

        But im already sold on this idea my phones are a Motorola Razr MAXX with Lap dock and an ASUS Padfone S with tablet dock.

  3. Slap

    There's Mileage in this.

    There really is mileage in this if, and I mean IF it can be done right.

    Most TOTL phones these days are sporting processing and graphics performance on par with low to midrange laptops, and with USB C being able to support video, ethernet, thunderbolt, standard USB over a single connection it's getting to the time it's right for the desktop you can fit in your pocket.

  4. tedleaf

    The desktop android part is ten years old,you could do it with the legendary HTC hd2,instead of a dock you just needed a powered usb port to plug kb/mouse into..

  5. Piro Silver badge

    Been around for some time

    Peaking with the 2011-2012 Motorolas, which booted into a dedicated Linux environment. You could buy various docks, including a laptop style one, just as Apple has recently patented.

    1. theN8

      Re: Been around for some time

      Yes indeed. I had the first Motorola Atrix with the "Work & Play" kit - very handy and the phone was years ahead of it's time - even sported a fingerprint scanner to lock/unlock the phone with - something the Apple fanboys would swear they were the first.

  6. iampav

    Remote Desktop

    I've been using Microsoft's remote desktop for a few years across a range of android phones and tablets without issue. I don't understand why it hasn't become common place to be able to hook up a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and access desktop features - it works great for me.

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