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The Almighty Buck

Nokia Buys Trolltech 311

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-bubble dept.
egil writes "Trolltech announced this morning (CET) that they have accepted a bid from Nokia to buy the entire company. The bid was for 16 NOK per share, which values the company at an equivalent of approximately 150 million USD. The stock currently trades at 15.70 on the Oslo stack exchange, up from around 10 on Friday. The offer has already been accepted by the Trolltech BOD."
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Nokia Buys Trolltech

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  • TrollTech: $150 million
    MySQL: 1 BILLION!

  • by Per Wigren (5315) on Monday January 28, 2008 @09:38AM (#22207228) Homepage
    I really hope that the KDE Qt Free Foundation [kde.org] agreements are valid because I have a gut feeling that they will be tested in court soon...
    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday January 28, 2008 @09:46AM (#22207282) Homepage Journal

      I really hope that the KDE Qt Free Foundation agreements are valid because I have a gut feeling that they will be tested in court soon...
      Interesting. TFA states that Nokia plans to continue to develop Qt, though, and will continue to offer it under both open source and commercial licenses, just as things are now.

      I assume that means as long as Nokia continues to develop Qt in the same manner (keeping Qt Free available for KDE), then the agreement doesn't apply.

      • by kripkenstein (913150) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:27AM (#22207664) Homepage

        Interesting. TFA states that Nokia plans to continue to develop Qt, though, and will continue to offer it under both open source and commercial licenses, just as things are now.

        I assume that means as long as Nokia continues to develop Qt in the same manner (keeping Qt Free available for KDE), then the agreement doesn't apply.

        Yes, all Nokia needs to do is keep Qt development on a low burner to avoid BSD-ization of their code. Not hard to do.

        I don't see Nokia as interested in the Linux desktop, so I presume that part of Trolltech's work will not continue exactly as before; why pay the salaries of several KDE developers, for example - not sure Nokia will see the point in that. I don't predict immediate firings, though, but if I was one of them I wouldn't count on long-term job security. What I do see Nokia as wanting from Trolltech is everything related to mobile devices, Qtopia, all that stuff. So overall Qt may continue to be developed, but I'm not sure its focus won't move to one that is less useful for KDE.

        Of course, this risk with KDE basing itself on Qt was obvious all the time due to the licensing model there. It is probably part of the reason why all major distros have moved to GNOME.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:39AM (#22207772)

          I don't see Nokia as interested in the Linux desktop
          Are you kidding. Why not go and take a quick search on Nokia Internet Tablets such as the 700/N800/N810 and you'll see they are very active in linux development. Also check out Maemo.org, which is developed by Nokia and is debian based. You might say that is specialized and not the "desktop" but it is very end user and it would be in Nokia's best interest to keep the development rolling.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by kripkenstein (913150)

            I don't see Nokia as interested in the Linux desktop

            Are you kidding. Why not go and take a quick search on Nokia Internet Tablets such as the 700/N800/N810 and you'll see they are very active in linux development. Also check out Maemo.org, which is developed by Nokia and is debian based. You might say that is specialized and not the "desktop" but it is very end user and it would be in Nokia's best interest to keep the development rolling.

            Regarding the tablets and Maemo, note that these are GTK-based projects, so I'm not sure they are related to the purchase of Trolltech - there is no direct benefit, Trolltech and Maemo are orthogonal (will Nokia scrap Maemo? I doubt it). No, it seems far likelier that the purchase has all to do with mobile devices, phones in particular, an area Trolltech was working very much on getting into with their Qtopia platform, etc. Given who Nokia is, I think we can bet that mobile devices are the basis here.

            • by vhogemann (797994) <victor@hogemann. c o m> on Monday January 28, 2008 @11:14AM (#22208160) Homepage
              Hummm,

              It's nice to have GTK and all, but look at QT4, it has much more advanced features. KDE3.5 already has a smaller memory footprint than Gnome, thanks to QT4 KDE4 will have an even smaller footprint.

              There were the GreenPhone. Also, there's already a Windows Mobile port of QT4, proving that it's well suited for embedded devices. And QT4 has Java bindings, witch is widely used on cellphone development as it is sandboxed.

              Pehaps Nokia is looking into replacing Symbian with a Linux stack? Pehaps they found out GTK lacking? Pehaps they fell the need to be able to control more directly the development of their toolkit of choice?

              Time will tell.
              • This is EXACTLY what I was thinking when I saw the headline.
        • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:44AM (#22207820)
          "I don't see Nokia as interested in the Linux desktop"

          While I understand your arguments it would now be a relatively easy way for Nokia to sneakin to that business. Before this buyout it would have been "impossible".

          Don't forget that the margins of the mobile phone industry may be diminishing and that the distinction between a mobile phone and a laptop is blurred more and more. Nokia is spreading its risks. Who knows what a laptop's wireless connection will look like in five years. I don't, but I guess Nokia now is better prepared to not only know, but also to adapt and dictate.

          -
        • by vdboor (827057) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:44AM (#22207824) Homepage

          You're missing an important detail here. KDE is important for Trolltech and the continued development of Qt. The CEO of Trolltech explained a few weeks ago in fact that Trolltech became a successful company because of KDE, not despite KDE.

          Trolltech profits from the tons of feedback and publicity they get through KDE. In their first years they didn't have to do marketing at all! Qt has credibility in the commercial world because a complete desktop environment is built upon it. New Qt features or API's are pushed to their limits due to their immense use by KDE. This improves the overall quality of Qt, ability to reach enterprise customers, and we're back to square 1.

          Destroying that upward spiral would hurt Qt development. Trolltech knows this, and so does Nokia.

          * KDE also benefits from the relation with Trolltech, since they get an enterprise-quality toolkit in return. Trolltech also does the boring stuff which is typical for toolkit development (they can pay people to work on it!), and sponsors some KDE core-developers full-time.

        • by toppavak (943659)

          I don't see Nokia as interested in the Linux desktop
          This may be the case, but AFAIK Nokia is interested in mobile Linux, ie maemo on the n810.
        • Just incorrect (Score:3, Informative)

          by Enderandrew (866215)
          Going down the Distrowatch list:

          PCLinuxOS - pretty much the opposite of Ubuntu. They release KDE primarily, and then do a Gnome version seperately.
          Ubuntu - Again, the opposite, but they do both.
          openSUSE - KDE predominately.
          Fedora - Again, supports both. Fedora 9 will use KDE 4.
          Mint - Basically Ubuntu, but they release for both.
          Sabayon - KDE by default, and all the theming is for KDE.
          Mandriva - KDE primarily.

          You can go down the list, but you end up getting small distros that either ship with neither by def
      • by sukotto (122876) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:37AM (#22207760)

        TFA states that Nokia plans to continue to develop Qt, though, and will continue to offer it under both open source and commercial licenses, just as things are now.

        In my experience, when company buys another company, they always promise that everything will stay the same... and they almost always renege on that statement 6~12 months after the acquisition.

        *shrug* it's just one of those things that people/companies say to ease friction during a transition, and not because they really mean it.

    • by spectrokid (660550) on Monday January 28, 2008 @09:47AM (#22207288) Homepage
      Why? Nokia does not make OS'es or IDE's. They make mobile phones, and they are pretty fucking good at it. If they get a good QT, they can release multiplatform PC software for synching their phones to Any OS(TM). The more it is open, the better the quality will be. Remember they are competing against Windows Mobile. I have a HTC and I have to say, under windows the cooperation between PC and mobile is near perfect. (I miss writing SMS-es from the PC keyboard though...). Having a cross-platform, open and good quality dev platform will help them whacking MS where it hurts. I, for one,..... ;-)
      • by GauteL (29207) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:16AM (#22207564)
        "They make mobile phones, and they are pretty fucking good at it. If they get a good QT, they can release multiplatform PC software for synching their phones to Any OS(TM). The more it is open, the better the quality will be."

        One does not buy a toolkit company to build one application. Nokia could easily already "create multiplatform PC software for synching their phones to Any OS(TM)". Qt is already plenty good enough to do this and there are even perfectly reasonable alternatives.

        Nokia are buying Trolltech for Qtopia, the mobile phone platform, which happens to be their core business. Therefore it is completely reasonable to question their commitment to desktop Qt, which at the moment has little to do with their core business.
      • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:18AM (#22207574) Homepage
        Why? Nokia does not make OS'es or IDE's. They make mobile phones,

        Do you not know what Nokia does?

        They make networking gear, computer equipment and yes, DO write software along with their phone thing.

        You better learn about the company you think only makes cellphones.
        • Nokia may make operating systems, but he was correct in the sense that they don't sell them as such. They don't have any reason to lock their users into one operating system if they can find another that's better at running their devices. It's entirely plausible that they want to switch their phones to running Linux and Qt.

          I think this move is a response to Apple's success in entering the market. Nokia still has the better hardware and value for money, but Apple's sleek design and marketing prowess are p
          • by andersh (229403) * on Monday January 28, 2008 @04:18PM (#22212090)

            Apple's sleek design and marketing prowess are proving tough to beat.

            Sorry, but that's just not true. In the US Apple sold a lot of iPhones, but Nokia is a dominant world leader in cellphones and especially cell networks (Nokia-Siemens). The US is a weird and rather small market compared with the rest of the world. Europe and Asia is where the real action is, as you may well know. And real smartphones from the likes of Nokia have been here a lot longer than the iPhone. Apple has done just fine [in the US], but it has in no way managed to challenge Nokia for the real markets.

            Oh, and I don't have anything against Apple. I'm European and I just ordered my iPhone from the US because I like the look and features. It will go nicely with my Macs.

            However the iPhone will be my #3 phone as I change phones depending on my needs. I have a real smartphone in the SonyEricsson P1, a creditcard sized Samsung for going out and now the iPhone for entertainment.

            Microsoft can integrate with Windows, and Apple can integrate with Mac OS. What's left for Nokia?

            Easy, they'll just bring the services to you over the Internet using free, open standards. SyncML is certainly interesting in that regard. I sync my phones from *my phone* using Zyb.com and it stores the information on the Internet. iCal syncs my calendar back from a feed.

            And why focus on the desktop OS anyway? Today files are more or less independent of the OS it was created on if you want to. Webservices, my friend, is the future. And Nokia already has good sync software for their phones. And on the Mac iSync does a good job of communicating with many phones. I also believe Nokias sync well with Linux if you want to.

            P.S. And Windows Mobile is not doing that well in Europe either. We like phones that work, go Symbian.

      • by sjbe (173966) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:27AM (#22207668)

        Nokia does not make OS'es or IDE's.
        Nokia doesn't make operating systems? What do you think their phones run on? Nokia owns nearly 50% of Symbian [wikipedia.org] which is an operating system. They also have other cell phones that run on different operating systems [wikipedia.org] developed by them. Cell phones are just a specialized computer. True, they make use of some open source stuff but they develop a LOT more of what they use themselves or via subsidiaries. I attended a presentation made by the CEO of Nokia [wikipedia.org] and he indicated that Nokia had over 14,000 software workers (this was about 5 years ago) alone. Now I can't verify that claim but I have little reason to doubt it. He made the claim that Nokia basically is a software company that happens to make cellular phones. A bit of an exaggeration perhaps but only a bit.
      • by Mechanik (104328) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:32AM (#22207710) Homepage
        Nokia does not make OS'es or IDE's.

        Actually, they do [nokia.com]. And, it's Eclipse and CDT based, so I would say that anyone that claims Nokia is not a friend of open source is mistaken. I am a committer on CDT, and I can vouch for the fact that the Nokia folks that work on Carbide have been making some significant contributions to CDT... enough that they have a committer on the project as well.

        And let's not forget that they own a controlling interest in Symbian, who does make OSes.
      • Why? Nokia does not make OS'es or IDE's.


        Oh? *looks at his IPSO firewalls and scratches head*
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ashridah (72567)
        As others have pointed out, Nokia do indeed make OS's, Symbian and their own home-grown variety. Let's also not forget that Qt maintains an embedded edition of their UI toolkit, which may well be very valuable to Nokia.

          They're also in the IDE business [slashdot.org], since they joined the Eclipse foundation, and have been pumping code into the C/C++ components, so people can use them to work on extensions for their own phones.

    • by bytta (904762) on Monday January 28, 2008 @09:56AM (#22207388)
      They have a whole page [trolltech.com] of announcements 'n' stuff, including an Open Letter to the Open Source Community, and a letter to QT customers.

      Seems like they really want to give the impression they don't intend to screw anyone over. Time will tell.

    • by Svartalf (2997) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:02AM (#22207426) Homepage
      It only kicks in if the new owners choose to take Qt private or do something like dissolve the now new division of their
      company. It forces a fork of licensing, etc. making a BSD licensed version possible at the KDE Qt Free Foundation's
      discretion under those circumstances. At that point you'd have a version of Qt that was GPLed, BSD, and the completely
      closed license version that the new owners had.

      In this case, I doubt that Nokia would take it private- they know what Open Source is and seem to have few issues
      with it in general. I'm not quite sure why they're picking Trolltech and Qt up, to be honest, considering how
      well Maemo and Hildon works on things like their N770/N800/N810, but perhaps they're picking them up because they
      want another option choice on the UI and applications suite front.
      • by swillden (191260)

        It only kicks in if the new owners choose to take Qt private or do something like dissolve the now new division of their company

        Or if they simply stop releasing new versions. The agreement specifies that one of the conditions under which the foundation may invoke the license change is if 12 months has elapsed since Trolltech has released an "Important Release".

        Another way it can happen is if the Foundation's board unanimously decides to invoke the license change. I'm not sure if Trolltech (now Nokia) has a seat on the board that would allow them to prevent this, though.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by nuzak (959558)
          KDE and TT each have two members on the FreeQt board. On the question of reverting the license to BSD, KDE will win a tie. The foundation itself isn't empowered to even take up the question unless the 12-month period has passed.

          It's a nice gesture, but if Nokia wanted to be evil (though all recent signs show that they won't) they could lock it up in court for years and years. If Nokia lets Qt stagnate, the easier option for the KDE people would be to just fork the GPL codebase.

          Personally I see the opposi
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by AJWM (19027)
        I'm not quite sure why they're picking Trolltech and Qt up,

        Maybe they figured it would work out cheaper to do that than paying per-seat Qt commercial license fees for their 14,000 software developers somebody mentioned. ;-)

        (Seriously though, I doubt that played more than a small part in the decision. Acquisition is something big companies do to keep up the appearance of growth. Perhaps they also wanted to have more influence on the future direction of Trolltech's products.)
    • What is the likelihood that Qt will go BSD licensed?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gral (697468)
      Nokia is actually doing a lot with Open Source. Their Maemo platform is open. Of course, it is based on GTK+.

      The Internet Tablet n810 is based on Linux and GTK+, which is where Maemo is running.
  • Lovely (Score:5, Funny)

    by david@ecsd.com (45841) on Monday January 28, 2008 @09:39AM (#22207232) Homepage
    Now, I suppose, when KDE boots up it's going to play that annoying, "bee de do deh, bee de do deh, bee de do doo dah."

    Can't wait.
    • Re:Lovely (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Slashidiot (1179447) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:04AM (#22207452) Journal
      The annoying tune was actually stolen from a relatively famous late 19th century spanish composer and guitar player, Francisco Tarrega [wikipedia.org]. It's part of the Gran Vals. Afterwards Nokia claimed it as a sound trademark...
      It was a shock to find out, while being in an auditorium, listening to a beautiful classic guitar concert, and suddenly a phone rang from the guitar... or so it seemed.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        I think it's fine if they trademark the use of that sound. If only because it means that no other phone company can annoy us with that music on their phones.
      • Your signature brought a smile. There's a good recording of that by the Hilliard Ensemble, if you don't already know it.
        • I know it and love it, but what got me to Purcell's Catches was the Deller Consort, and I still love Alfred Deller. Makes me enormously happy that there are other Early Music nerds around in /., computers are not everything in the world.
  • Smart move! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by superash (1045796) on Monday January 28, 2008 @09:45AM (#22207274)
    Now that Nokia has got the OpenC and the PythonForS60 community growing rapidly, there was need for a better UI which I think will be provided by Qt. More developers -> more apps -> high user base.
  • Damn (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 28, 2008 @09:49AM (#22207304)
    Damn Nokia feeding the trolls.
  • Qtopia? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jack Malmostoso (899729) on Monday January 28, 2008 @09:52AM (#22207338)
    What will happen to Qtopia?
    If Nokia switches to full-linux-ahead with it, it would really be sweet, although we'd see a nice internal fight between the existing GTK stack and the new qt one :)
    • Easy....it will flourish. Nokia has to license Symbian. Since they are using the gtk toolkit and now they will be using the Qt widget set, they will be offering a choice to their users and then the phones that use Symbian will gradually fade out.
  • by webword (82711) on Monday January 28, 2008 @09:54AM (#22207356) Homepage
    Browse through Google News [google.com]

    Trolltech Acquisition to Position Nokia in Featurephone Space
    (What's "Featurephone Space"?)

    Helsinki shares drop midday, led by Nokia
    (Ahh, so Nokia stock takes a hit, eh?)

    Nokia Dishes Out $153 Million for Trolltech
    (We know how much, exactly)

    What other perspectives on the deal are you finding?
  • by Bralkein (685733) on Monday January 28, 2008 @09:55AM (#22207372)
    This being Slashdot, the summary's pretty light on details like for example what will happen to KDE and Qt's relationship with Free Software at large. Well, there is an open letter to the community, so you can read it here [trolltech.com]. The letter's pretty encouraging insofar as it reaffirms the Qt team's commitment to the current symbiosis, and it says that Nokia is going to become a "Patron of KDE"(TM). Additionally, the Free Qt Foundation [kde.org] offers protection in case a buyout turns things nasty.

    Having said all of the above, I can't help but remain a bit concerned about this turn of events. I was under the impression that Nokia have a rather tarnished reputation in the eyes of the Free Software world, since they seem to be pro-patents for software and there was that opposition from them concerning Ogg Vorbis as a web standard or something. Things like this make me worry. On the other hand, it seems like there is still a large gap between the cultures of proprietary software and free software, and maybe Nokia will gain a more balanced standpoint by getting involved with GPL projects like Qt. Ah well, I suppose we'll have to see how things turn out, but I don't really think a project the size of KDE can be killed so easily as this.

    Some other people have remarked that it's interesting that Nokia should acquire Qt, seeing as how they use GTK in a few of their products. It seems fine to me though - I reckon heterogeny is a pretty big part of what Free Software is all about.
    • by nguy (1207026) on Monday January 28, 2008 @11:06AM (#22208052)
      Having said all of the above, I can't help but remain a bit concerned about this turn of events. I was under the impression that Nokia have a rather tarnished reputation in the eyes of the Free Software world,

      That's not the main issue. Qt already is under the GPL, so whatever Nokia does or doesn't do won't affect KDE.

      The big question is what Nokia will do for commercial developers.

      I think Nokia's best bet is to re-release the desktop edition of Qt under a BSD-style license right away. Nokia isn't going to make much money from licensing anyway, and a BSD release could make Qt much more popular as a toolkit for everybody.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gnuman99 (746007)
        If they release all desktop Qt (mac,linux and windows) under BSD, then they'll lose most of the support subscribers. This will result in Nokia pulling developers from the division as it will be losing lots of money. Then we end up with community supported Qt only.

        Commercial users can get screwed if Nokia stops development on Qt. If they continue at current pace or actually fix most of the bugs in their BTS, the better for commercial users. Heck, since Nokia is already using Qt, they are a commercial user an
    • by cbart387 (1192883)

      I was under the impression that Nokia have a rather tarnished reputation in the eyes of the Free Software world, since they seem to be pro-patents for software and there was that opposition from them concerning Ogg Vorbis as a web standard or something.
      Can anyone else substantiate this? I'm sure RMS and the others on the extreme end of the Free Software community have that view. I'm just curious if anyone else in the community has a more balanced opinion.
  • good move (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chiui (1120973) on Monday January 28, 2008 @09:57AM (#22207396) Homepage
    Finally they can compete with Android with a decent platform. They probably have seen that Symbian is no longer good enough as a multitasking environment, and probably too difficult and expensive to add features to. And you would never ever attempt to run it on anything other than a phone thus making more difficult to build a whole platform ranging from small game consoles, PDAs, music players and the "next small thing" :)
  • by GauteL (29207) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:01AM (#22207416)
    .. and the investments Nokia has made into GTK+?

    And how will Nokia's competitors that currently use Qt for their mobile products take this?
  • by jone1941 (516270) <jone1941@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:03AM (#22207440) Homepage
    Until now Nokia has been using Gnome/GTK libraries for their open source products (namely the N Series PDA devices). I'm sure they have invested a fairly large amount of time and energy building out the GTK port of webkit and writing the entire UI of these devices running on GTK. Can anyone shed some light on exactly what implications this has for the internal Gnome development efforts? There is at least one Nokia developer on the Gnome Board of Directors and Nokia is a corporate sponsor to the Gnome Project. Overall this seems like a very strange move for them.

    The only obvious reason I can see for this decision is that Nokia's Mobile OS technology has been gradually falling behind for a number of years. Buying Trolltech gives them all the tech that went into the Zaurus devices and Trolltech's mobile environment (as seen on the green phone).

    I assume that over the next day or two an official announcement will be made about Nokia's intentions for the Qt licensing. In the mean time we all have to sit on our hands and anticipate a fork. On one hand this is a bit of a slap in the face to the Gnome/GTK teams that seems to imply Qt was the superior technology. On the other hand it also justifies Gnome's existence as a project to begin with, there have always been concerns that Trolltech would take it's ball and go home. KDE is extremely dependent on paid developers at Trolltech for much of the code that is written, it will also be interesting to see if Nokia ends up becoming a major sponsor to both projects. Only time will tell.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Svartalf (2997)
      In reality...

      It's six of one, half dozen of another on GTK+ versus Qt.

      There's not really a slap in the face when you think about it. Qtopia presents an entire environment
      for making mobile phones. Maemo presents a more sophisticated environment for making more than
      capable smart phones and network-centric appliance devices. While Qtopia's capable of the other,
      it's not quite the same beast as what they came up with for themselves for that purpose- and Qtopia
      makes some good sense on things like the average p
    • by pembo13 (770295) on Monday January 28, 2008 @11:20AM (#22208220) Homepage

      On the other hand it also justifies Gnome's existence as a project to begin with

      I find that hard to believe considering the rate at which Gnome is including Microsoft's tech.

  • by oever (233119) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:09AM (#22207488) Homepage
    The Qt toolkit allows rapid development of nice mobile and desktop application. A Nokia slide on the role of Qt in the company seems to suggest they want to use Qt to write applications that work and look the same on their mobile phones and on the desktop the user might have (be it Windows, Mac or Linux).

    source [allaboutsymbian.com]
  • by pembo13 (770295) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:12AM (#22207520) Homepage
    According to this page, http://www.opensource.nokia.com/contributions.html [nokia.com], Nokia is already fairly involved in OSS, more so than I would have guessed. If they do smart things, I have no problem patronizing their product lines more.
  • How will Symbian react? Will they switch to using GNOME so they have parity? I'd doubt they'd adopt Qt with one of their customers controlling its license back to them. Does this move mean Symbian will always use its own proprietary GUI SW?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by BlackCreek (1004083)

      How will Symbian react? Will they switch to using GNOME so they have parity? I'd doubt they'd adopt Qt with one of their customers controlling its license back to them. Does this move mean Symbian will always use its own proprietary GUI SW?

      I am not sure I understood your post. But if I did, then you are missing the information that Nokia owns 48% of Symbian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbian_OS [wikipedia.org]

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        Ah, but that extra 2%+1 makes all the difference. Symbian will clearly have to react to this, which certainly makes Nokia less dependent on Symbian's UIKON GUI layer. The probable reaction is for Symbian to adopt Qt to replace UIKON on at least some models. Or drop UIKON entirely, as they've evolved UIKON in several different generations for very specific rendering tasks that Nokia's Qt will be perfected for, and have lately apparently completely factored UIKON into an independent presentation tier inside S
  • Greephone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jfenwick (961674) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:35AM (#22207742)
    I can't help but wonder if this has something to do with the death of the greenphone.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by chiui (1120973)
      The Greenphone died because other hardware capable of running Qtopia became available (eg FIC 1973); they didn't want to sell phones, they wanted something you can develop for Qtopia on.
  • by nguy (1207026) on Monday January 28, 2008 @10:56AM (#22207930)
    I wonder what this means for commercial users of Qt. Despite what they say, Nokia doesn't strike me as a company that will do a good job at providing cross-platform desktop toolkits. So... either they re-release Qt under a BSD-like license, or commercial users will be out of luck.

    I'm also not sure this acquisition makes sense from a mobile perspective. Nokia needs a better UI strategy than they have right now, but Qt isn't really the top choice in that space either. This purchase really strikes me as one company with an aging platform buying another company with an aging platform.

    Well, I guess we'll know how things turn out when the dust settles.
  • ...please change the QT license to LGPL!! Yeah, it'll piss RMS off, but it will benefit QT/KDE in the long run. Heck, maybe if you do this, we can
    finally get the long rumored version of SWT for QT - that IBM is supposedly sitting on internally - released to the world.

  • the KKKPc (Score:2, Interesting)

    by toufeeq (956984)
    Sure, with the purchase of Trolltech, Nokia now can think of building an answer for Android. Sure they can now look at having a better widget toolkit than the one that ships with Symbian but here's my hunch..

    The laptop segment is starting to see a wide range of ultr-portable low-cost PC's like the eeePC and the Everex Cloudbook. These run Linux with a lightweight GUI. Maybe Nokia is viewing this as the future of the ultramobile laptop segment and thinks it needs to have a foothold in that. Paying $150 milli
  • Good News (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrCopilot (871878) on Monday January 28, 2008 @01:37PM (#22209718) Homepage Journal
    I see a lot of fear in the eyes of Geekdom. Relax my brethren.

    Your fear is unwarranted. My take on this: Nokia is a getting a little leary of MS gaining increasing control at Novell with their hand up Miguel.

    Besides, basing your products on GTK is hard, there I said it.

    QT is a programmer's dream to work with. Fully documented, Open Source, (or Closed if your PHB is twitchy) Cross compatible, and simple. Got a problem a shout out to the trolls usually clears it up. Licensor or not.

    Nokia makes hardware and wants to control their own destiny. Makes perfect business sense, but so does keeping the good will of the community. Recent foibles with the n700 taught them that.

    I use only KDE, I develop Desktop Applications and Embedded Devices using QT. It would be fair to call me a fanboy of the Trolls. I also have an unhealthy desire to own a n810, n700, and n800. The only thing holding me back was that I hate the GTK based Maemo toolkit. Recently KDE was ported, and with this development is making it difficult for me to contain the copious amounts drool.

  • by Yahma (1004476) on Monday January 28, 2008 @02:46PM (#22210680) Journal

    Unless there is money to be made by supporting QT for KDE, don't count on Nokia being as friendly toward the Open Source Community as Trolltech was.

    Nokia has recently been implicated in accepting almost 90 Million Euro's in subsidies from Germany to operate an R&D and Production facility on Bochum, Germany. The subsidy contract expired in the end of last year, and guess what? Nokia recently announced they are closing shop in Germany, putting almost 3,000 workers out of a job (many of whom have been with the company over 20 years) and moving production to Romania where they claim production labor costs are 10x lower than in Germany. The funny thing is, the plant in Germany was profitable. And furthermore, production labor costs only account for less than 2% of Nokia's total costs. There are calls for a Nokia Boycott [google.com] in Germany, which just happens to be Nokia's largest market in the EU.

    Now if Nokia would screw with their largest market in the EU to save less than 2% in costs, do you really think that they will devote resources or Money to the Open Source Community by continuing development of the OSE of QT? All they need to do to prevent Qt from reverting to a BSD license is to keep things on a low burner, possibly throwing a part time developer on the project. This is what they have done with the Internet Tablet Software 2007 for the Nokia 770 Linux device. Its in a state of slow development because there is only one part time developer working on it.

    • by Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) on Monday January 28, 2008 @04:36PM (#22212438)

      I have to say that you have a very one sided view both about both the situation in Bochum and Nokia as corporation.

      Here in Finland we have been little staggered about recent events in there, or to say it straight, about the reaction the closure of Bochum plant has made in general population and also in politicians. It seems so strange that a closure of a small plant, with only 2000 employees, has generated so big reaction, after all there are justifiable reasons for the plant closure: employees cost very much compared to developing countries and in Bochum Nokia couldn't get all their supplier near them like they will have in Nokia Village in Romania.

      The reaction seems just so strange when you remember that German companies have too moved lots of manufacturing jobs from Germany, and Siemens was driven from the mobile phone markets all together because they weren't cost effective. It's also strange that people forget that by closing the plant in Bochum, opening one in Romania, they employ themselves 4000 romanians. It should also be noted that atleast they are keeping the jobs in Europe and not shipping them to China. Also in larger context by keeping themselves cost effective they make sure that in future there will be European mobile phone companies, and that they won't die because of ultra low cost Chinese firms.

      Yes, it's sad that people will lost their jobs, but then again, it's business as usual, nobody has a job for life. It should also be noted that it was just a matter of time when Bochum plant was to be closed, as according to notable Finnish banker Björn Wahlroos, that Nokia management would have closed the plant in 1992 if they could have afforded it: they couldn't as in Germany closing plant of decreasing work force is very expensive.

      Also about Nokia and Trolltech. Nokia has its main R&D functions and personnel in Europe, they haven't outsourced or shipped their jobs away, as those jobs are best done in here not in India or China. Of course they have R&D in India and China, but that's not away from Europe as they have extended their activities. Same too will happen with Trolltech, Nokia bought them to increase value, and in case of Trolltech that means more R&D, more activities and extensions. I believe that only good will happen because of this acquisition. If the future is what the presentation held by Nokia is correct, then the community and people using Qt will benefit enormously as with same toolkit they can make applications not just to Linux, Windows and Mac OSX, but to S60, S40 and other platforms that are being developed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Capt. Beyond (179592)
      Unless there is money to be made by supporting QT for KDE, don't count on Nokia being as friendly toward the Open Source Community as Trolltech was.

      if you read the letter to the open source community, you would see that Nokia is applying to become a patron of KDE.

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