Will Nokia buying Trolltech accelerate mobile Linux?

To make this deal pay Nokia has to become more closely aligned with both Linux and open source.

QTopia learn more button from Trolltech web site
The easy, obvious answer is yes. Nokia's agreement to buy Trolltech for $155 million has to be a big win for mobile Linux.

Aren't Trolltech's development products available under open source licenses? Isn't QTopia a leading platform for mobile Linux development?

But wait, cynics will say. Do open source developers trust Nokia? Might they throw some proprietary junk into this code, or mess about with Trolltech's open source ethos in some other way?

Isn't this just like the car that runs on water, that the car companies bought and suppressed?

Please back away from the tinfoil hat. Trolltech has produced a letter to the open source community, specifically allaying those concerns.  

More important, Nokia really does need both Linux and open source to compete. OpenAndroid notes that QTopia gives Nokia the platform it needs to compete with Google, and its Qt is used by Google Earth.

Nokia ADRs are down about 10% on the year, but nothing's working. Fact is, Trolltech is not yet material to the Finnish company.

To become material Nokia has to invest in Trolltech. To make this deal pay Nokia has to become more closely aligned with both Linux and open source.

And that could become a very big deal.

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