Digia acquires Qt from Nokia; eyes Android, iOS, Windows 8

Digia acquires Qt from Nokia; eyes Android, iOS, Windows 8

Summary: Cross-platform framework Qt, bought by Nokia in 2008, will be acquired by Finland-based Digia as it eyes the most popular mobile platforms in worldwide market share.

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Digia said today it has agreed to acquire the Qt business, software, and staff from Nokia, only weeks after the phone maker posted a massive second-quarter operating loss. 

qt-creator-screenshot
Nokia Qt (Credit: Nokia)

Digia said in a statement it planned to take Qt and "quickly enable" it for Android, iOS, and Window 8 devices. 

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Reuters reports that analysts pegged the figure at a "fraction" of the $150 million Nokia paid for the software in 2008.

It comes more than a year since Nokia sold off its Qt Commercial business to Digia. Digia's plans means "it can continue as a successful open source project," said Nokia strategy chief Sebastian Nyström.

Qt is a framework used by close to a half-million developers used for making cross-platform applications for more than dozens of industries -- from aerospace to medical devices industry. It enables developers to write applications for both Symbian and MeeGo. 

But since Nokia's bid to move away from MeeGo last year in favor of Microsoft-provided Windows Phone 7 and later versions, Qt became widely redundant.

Qt was acquired by Nokia in 2008 from its original developers, Trolltech. Last week, more than 50 employees at Nokia's Brisbane, Australia office were given pink slips because the Finnish firm planned to close the office. 

But Nokia said it will move up to 125 Qt staff from Norway and Germany to Digia

For Nokia, this will be seen as another cost-cutting exercise in a bid to preserve the cash it's already burning through at a rapid rate. The Finland-based phone maker this year alone cut 10,000 jobs and brought in the bankers to mull a buy-off of its luxury line of phone, Vertu.

Topics: Nokia, Android, iOS, Tech Industry, Windows

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2 comments
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  • This is *GREAT* news!

    Digia's folks have always been hard workers including all of their work on Qt (as a Nokia contractor) before most folks probably heard of them.

    Their statement that they will "bring back focus on Qt's desktop and embedded platform support" is also welcome news as is their aggressive stance towards supporting Qt on Android, iOS, and Windows 8; I hope there's a subtext there that implies Windows Phone 8 as well.

    And thanks, Nokia, for *FINALLY* doing the right thing with Qt. It was clear from the moment you abandoned Symbian and Maemo/MeeGo to instead embrace Microsoft that Qt had to go and I'm glad you divested it before strangling it to death.
    Atlant
  • I have to agree

    with Atlant that this is good news for many (maybe even Nokia), but definitely Qt developers who may be able to port their apps to to a platform like Android and actually get some new sales. It may also give some extra life to those who purchased Symbian and Meego phones. With Qt being developed and sustained, apps can still be made as those platforms age and make the investment those Nokia owner made retain the value.
    Now if only Nokia would re-open source Symbian so that it could continue on afer Nokia goes the way of Windows Phone completely.
    jkohut