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Nokia Open Source Retreat Continues as Qt Sold Off

Qt commercialFrom the 'Good News for Qt' files:

Nokia, the one time king of the mobile phone market, really seems to have no clue when it comes to open source. These are the same geniuses that killed MeeGo (and all its iterations) abandoning Linux in favor of Windows.

Now they are also giving up on Qt. Again.

Back in 2011, Nokia first began to divest itself of its Qt assets. Qt is an open source cross platform framework that Nokia acquired with the acquisition of Trolltech in 2008 for $150 million. In 2011, Nokia sold off the Qt commercial licensingand services business to professional services vendor Digia.

Now a year later, and Nokia is selling the rest of the Qt business

"We are pleased that we've been able to work with Digia to secure continued development of Qt by the current core team," said Sebastian Nyström, head of Nokia Strategy. "Digia's plans to acquire Qt mean that it can continue as a successful open source project and also offer continuing employment for many people in the community."

It's a deal that makes a lot of sense. I have no idea why Nokia just didn't sell everything to Digia last year. After all, Nokia has hitched its future (for better or for worse) to Windows Phone. An open source toolkit like Qt (while useful for Windows Phone), also has broader applicability for other platforms.

Qt however has never been just about mobile and it is more widely used today on the desktop (as part of KDE), than anywhere else.

"Now is a good time for everyone to revisit their perception of Qt," Tommi Laitinen, SVP, International Products at Digia said. "Digia's targeted R&D investments will bring back focus on Qt’s desktop and embedded platform support, while widening the support for mobile operating systems."


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.