If you've ever been issued a company cell phone in addition to your own phone, you know what a hassle it is lugging two devices, contact lists, et cetera around with you. VMware, one of the most prominent players in the desktop virtualization market, is aiming to change that. They're partnering with Verizon in the United States and Telefonica in Europe to give employer-issued Android phones a double identity.
What this means is that you'll be able to accept calls from your work and personal numbers on the same device, in addition to VMware's already-announced mobile virtulization package. It works a lot like the VMware Workstation or Fusion software available on Windows and Mac, but in this case it's managing a separate identity instead of an operating system. LG and Samsung phones will be the first to support this home/work software division.
Managing separate numbers is of course already possible with things like number forwarding and Google Voice, but keeping two separate workspaces with their own contacts, emails, text messages and the like is something new. It isn't restricted to software, either: businesses can set up their own voice and data plans for their employees, who will only use their own personal minutes and data when they're off the clock. Depending upon how your workplace is set up this could be a positive or negative (from the employee perspective, anyway) but the idea has merit. Verizon and VMware haven't given a timeframe for implementing the solution.