Nokia sells Qt licensing and services business

Buyer Digia will focus on desktops and embedded systems

The open source KDE desktop is developed with Qt

The open source KDE desktop is developed with Qt

As Nokia rebuilds itself to focus on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, it is selling its Qt commercial licensing and services business to Finnish company Digia.

Qt is a cross-platform application and user interface framework designed to let developers write and deploy applications across desktop, mobile and embedded OSes without rewriting source code.

Though Nokia is selling the part of the QT business that does commercial licensing and related services, it is not selling the software itself. Nokia is in the process of moving the development of Qt to an open governance model. The plan to do that was announced in June, and is still ongoing. There is no date when it will be finalized, Mark Durrant, director of communications at Nokia, said.

Meanwhile, Digia plans to push Qt on desktops and embedded systems, where the company sees the biggest potential commercial growth, a spokesman said. As part of the deal, 3,500 desktop and embedded Qt customers will be transferred to Digia. The company plans to employ 19 Nokia staff who work in consulting, sales and marketing, according to a statement. Nokia's Qt technical support team will also work with Digia for the next year, according to a Nokia blog post.

When Nokia announced the switch to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone OS, the company made it clear that Qt would not be ported to Microsoft's smartphone OS. The platform will continue to be the development framework for Symbian and MeeGo. Nokia, however, will not introduce Qt to Windows Phone, to avoid fragmenting that environment, said a company spokesman via e-mail at the time of the announcement with Microsoft.

Nokia will continue to use Symbian as it transitions to Windows Phone. The Qt platform will also be part of Nokia's "future disruptions strategy," an effort to develop products for the next generation of mobile devices.

Qt came with Nokia's acquisition of Norwegian company Trolltech in 2008.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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