Nokia buys Trolltech; Gets serious about going cross platform

Nokia said Monday that it has acquired Trolltech in a deal that could have big implications for mobile applications.Trolltech provides software development platforms for mobile applications.

Nokia said Monday that it has acquired Trolltech in a deal that could have big implications for mobile applications.

Trolltech provides software development platforms for mobile applications. Earlier this month Trolltech was a big addition to the LiMo Foundation, a mobile consortium that aims to build an open software platform for handsets based on Linux. LiMo is an alternative to Google's Android effort and mostly focuses on mobile middleware.

Here's what's notable about LiMo: It's a consortium partially designed to thwart dominance from Nokia and Microsoft for handset operating systems. Trolltech was a huge add for LiMo.

And now Nokia has acquired Trolltech (Techmeme). That fact leads two two scenarios. Nokia gets more involved with open platforms. Or Trolltech is a defensive purchase. Dana Blankenhorn notes that Nokia's deal will accelerate Linux adoption.

I agree. My guess is that Nokia is going to get more involved with open platforms. And obviously if Nokia's platform becomes dominant that's not a bad side benefit. In a statement, Nokia said:

The acquisition of Trolltech will enable Nokia to accelerate its cross-platform software strategy for mobile devices and desktop applications, and develop its Internet services business. With Trolltech, Nokia and third party developers will be able to develop applications that work in the Internet, across Nokia's device portfolio and on PCs. Nokia's software strategy for devices is based on cross-platform development environments, layers of software that run across operating systems, enabling the development of applications across the Nokia device range. Examples of current cross-platform layers are Web runtime, Flash, Java and Open C.

Trolltech is best known for its Qt software. Nokia can push adoption of Qt and license Trolltech products for desktop and mobile software development. Trolltech technology will be licensed under commercial and open source licenses.

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