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Nokia Sells Qt 193

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yeah-who-needs-it dept.
Google85 writes "Now that Nokia has shifted to a Windows Phone-centric smartphone strategy, it's only natural for the company to divest itself of responsibility with regard to the Qt framework. It has been announced Digia will acquire the Qt commercial licensing and services business from Nokia, including the transfer of some 3,500 desktop and embedded customers actively using Qt today."
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Nokia Sells Qt

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  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Monday March 07, 2011 @09:50AM (#35404652)
    I guess they are really going "all in" on Windows mobile. Kinda risky making your entire company totally dependent on a single outside vendor with a track record for not caring about partners.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      I'm more concerned about the trolling that will result. How long before we see this cited in claims that there are no more than 3500 KDE users? ;)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        But I'm a KDE user you insensitive clod!

      • by jonbryce (703250) on Monday March 07, 2011 @12:10PM (#35406364) Homepage

        QT's customers are developers who licence QT commercial edition, not end users. This includes companies such as Opera and Google who's products are used by millions of people.

        But I'm sure you knew that already.

        • Yes. But we should not let that get in the way of good trolling. For future reference, the correct response to any trolling is "Why do you feel that Python is so bad? What do you find wrong with it?"
      • by isorox (205688)

        I'm more concerned about the trolling that will result

        What about the TrollTeching?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      One of capitalism's many problems is that corporations are run by capitalistic humans, and such humans concern themselves by definition with rational self-interest.

      The huge bonus from completing a deal which is extremely risky in the long term ('sup banking crisis?) mean that any fallout will be of no consequence to those responsible for completing the deal.

      It doesn't matter that history has shown over and over that Microsoft are consistent and excellent at assassinating their bedfellows. All that matters i

      • And the path that they were taking earlier was going to be super successful right? They failed bigtime at Meego with multiyear delays and instead of slipping into irrelevance are making a good try.

        > It doesn't matter that history has shown over and over that Microsoft are consistent and excellent at assassinating their bedfellows

        Like HP, Dell, Asus, Acer, Sony ? Even in the software space, they have "assassinated" companies by making better software(if they don't they fail, see Microsoft Money vs. Quicke

        • by SJ (13711)

          ahem.... PlaysForSure?

        • by Microlith (54737)

          They failed bigtime at Meego with multiyear delays

          MeeGo has existed for just over a year, and is still underway. Nokia's failure was entirely internal and resulted in them obstructing the growth of Maemo. Don't point and MeeGo and say "it has failed" when you actually mean Nokia.

        • Like HP, Dell, Asus, Acer, Sony ?

          All of those vendors also sell Linux devices. And all but Sony actively support Linux. If Redmond Washington fall off into the ocean tomorrow, they still have viable product, especially Sony. Nokia, on the other hand will have nothing.

      • One of capitalism's many problems...

        Why is it that people that rail against capitalism are steadfastly resistant to giving up all of their own capital?

        • One of capitalism's many problems...

          Why is it that people that rail against capitalism are steadfastly resistant to giving up all of their own capital?

          Probably because giving up your capital doesn't get you out of capitalism. It only makes your position inside capitalism worse.

          • One of capitalism's many problems...

            Why is it that people that rail against capitalism are steadfastly resistant to giving up all of their own capital?

            Probably because giving up your capital doesn't get you out of capitalism. It only makes your position inside capitalism worse.

            Oh, sure, it will get you "out of" capitalism. Just don't confuse capitalism with banking. "Capital" is just having a way to get food for dinner without spending your day gathering food. If you don't like that lifestyle, just give it up and live hand-to-mouth.

            All systems in the civilized world use capitalism. The question is should individuals be allowed to control their own capital, or just a few select individuals?

    • by Stumbles (602007) on Monday March 07, 2011 @10:00AM (#35404750)
      Sounds like another Novell/SCO is in the works 5 years down the line with Digia taking over the SCOfud. SCO tried to make great hay that no one sells a business without copyrights. Unsurprisingly, this proves SCO to BE WRONG.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617)

      It's way too predictable. The person in charge of Nokia has a LOT of Microsoft stock and no Nokia stock, or so I've read. It was this that upset Nokia employees the most -- it was clear from the beginning where this person's interests would lie. And so now it is all coming to pass.

      And it's not like Microsoft's previous dealings with phone makers were resulted in anything better. I seem to recall a story from years ago when Microsoft was initially trying to get a phone making partner to work with them --

      • Why do you think the board hired him in the first place in place of the local talent and VPs ? They obviously knew by that time that Meego was a failed project and they had to go in the new direction. They probably decided by then that WP7 or Android was the way to go and hired the new boss accordingly.

        • by gtall (79522)

          Gee, hire MS drone, big surprise when he decides to "standardize" on MS software. Who could have predicted that?

        • So they decided that having failed in the mobile market, they would tie up with MS who also failed, and the combination would be a winner!

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Uhhhh...You DO know the fed stopped him from buying Nokia and selling off his shares of MSFT under insider trading rules, yes? And that anyone who takes one of the high level positions in a company like CxO has to follow insider trading rules that only allow them to sell X number of stock per six months and IIRC not to buy ANY of the stock of the company they have joined for 6 months, too keep from having their knowledge affect pricing?

        If you want to blame someone for his stock situation blame the fed, as

        • by erroneus (253617)

          No, I didn't know that actually. The last I heard was as I stated. This is news to me.

          So whooops! I was wrong.

          Yeah, I would rather see Nokia going Android than Windows. Sure Nokia would be competing in a much more difficult market teeming with competition, but it's better than dying. Every Windows phone I have seen to date has sucked. Even "typical end users" found them intolerable.

        • In a race to the bottom, that leaves a nice niche at the top. Sure there is a bunch of cheap crap. There are also few very good phones that are not totally locked down (HelloMoto) and trapped. The point is that they dumped all the alternatives, and joined up with a very risky venture. The problem is that the normal panic war cry is too short. It is "We have do do something." It should be "We have to do something helpful."
    • by 1s44c (552956) on Monday March 07, 2011 @10:26AM (#35405002)

      I guess they are really going "all in" on Windows mobile. Kinda risky making your entire company totally dependent on a single outside vendor with a track record for not caring about partners.

      'Kinda risky' is putting it mildly. Watching Nokia is like watching an alcoholic drinking themselves to death. It's tragic.

      • by DrXym (126579) on Monday March 07, 2011 @10:48AM (#35405242)

        'Kinda risky' is putting it mildly. Watching Nokia is like watching an alcoholic drinking themselves to death. It's tragic.

        I doubt it's death, so much as transformation. Before the announcement Nokia was an innovator producing distinct hardware & software. After the announcement they become one of Microsoft's bitches pumping out handsets which are substantially similar to the likes coming out from LG / Samsung / HTC. Perhaps it's cheaper to do, but at the end of the day Nokia's brand will be severely tarnished.

        It's also worth noting that Nokia is the only manufacturer to bet the farm on a single phone OS vendor. LG, Samsung and HTC all have their fingers in many pies (e.g. WP7, Android, Bada, Brew). It seems like a good way to hedge if the WP7 ship sinks which is entirely possible.

        • by 1s44c (552956)

          'Kinda risky' is putting it mildly. Watching Nokia is like watching an alcoholic drinking themselves to death. It's tragic.

          I doubt it's death, so much as transformation. Before the announcement Nokia was an innovator producing distinct hardware & software. After the announcement they become one of Microsoft's bitches pumping out handsets which are substantially similar to the likes coming out from LG / Samsung / HTC. Perhaps it's cheaper to do, but at the end of the day Nokia's brand will be severely tarnished.

          It's also worth noting that Nokia is the only manufacturer to bet the farm on a single phone OS vendor. LG, Samsung and HTC all have their fingers in many pies (e.g. WP7, Android, Bada, Brew). It seems like a good way to hedge if the WP7 ship sinks which is entirely possible.

          It's death of Nokia as a respected brand, sooner or later it will be death of Nokia entirely.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Giometrix (932993)

            'Kinda risky' is putting it mildly. Watching Nokia is like watching an alcoholic drinking themselves to death. It's tragic.

            I doubt it's death, so much as transformation. Before the announcement Nokia was an innovator producing distinct hardware & software. After the announcement they become one of Microsoft's bitches pumping out handsets which are substantially similar to the likes coming out from LG / Samsung / HTC. Perhaps it's cheaper to do, but at the end of the day Nokia's brand will be severely tarnished.

            It's also worth noting that Nokia is the only manufacturer to bet the farm on a single phone OS vendor. LG, Samsung and HTC all have their fingers in many pies (e.g. WP7, Android, Bada, Brew). It seems like a good way to hedge if the WP7 ship sinks which is entirely possible.

            It's death of Nokia as a respected brand, sooner or later it will be death of Nokia entirely.

            I'll argue that Nokia was already on it's death bed (as a respected brand), they were completely missing in the smart phone market, which is the market you need to be in if you want to be a respected cell phone manufacturer brand. Yes, they were working on neat products, but it seemed that they were quite a bit away from shipping (and being new, they carried a lot of risk as well).

            I think that Nokia was forced to going third party, where the choices are Android and WP7. think going with WP7 was a good i

            • by DrXym (126579)

              I'll argue that Nokia was already on it's death bed (as a respected brand), they were completely missing in the smart phone market, which is the market you need to be in if you want to be a respected cell phone manufacturer brand. Yes, they were working on neat products, but it seemed that they were quite a bit away from shipping (and being new, they carried a lot of risk as well).

              Nokia did have smart phone offerings such as the C7. The C7 has been praised for its hardware and the software is tolerable but most reviews suggest Symbian is just poor by comparison to iOS or Android.

              I really don't understand why they didn't just dump Symbian for Android. They could have skinned it to look like Symbian, maybe even include a Symbian / QT runtime so apps still work, and integrate Ovi in there too. Then they'd have a modern smart phone with legacy support and they'd be back in the game wh

              • by Eunuchswear (210685) on Monday March 07, 2011 @12:58PM (#35407182) Journal

                I really don't understand why they didn't just dump Symbian for Android. They could have skinned it to look like Symbian

                WTF!

                The good bit of Symbian - uses orders of magnitude less resources that the competition.

                The bad bit - the UI from hell.

                And you suggest putting a Symbian UI on Android?

                Like I said, WTF.

                (Check out SBP mobile shell for Symbian to see what could have been done if Nokia weren't totally fucked up. Look at it running on a low-end piece of junk like the 5320 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZtKTOTus7s [youtube.com] ).

          • Sorry, I have to call bullshit here.

            Nokia died as a reputable brand when they kept trying to sell their pieces of junk as smartphones. They wanted in on the iPhone market but really couldn't bring anything other than rehashes of a dumbphone with browsers.

            I really think Nokia made a terrible decision throwing everything behind WP7. As was stated by GGP, Nokia has cirrhosis and still visits the pub every night.

        • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday March 07, 2011 @01:16PM (#35407460) Journal

          After the announcement they become one of Microsoft's bitches pumping out handsets which are substantially similar to the likes coming out from LG / Samsung / HTC.

          Not quite. There's no "dedicated" WP7 vendor so far - all of the companies you've listed mostly do Android phones (Samsung is also pushing its Bada on low-cost phones); WP is the odd one in their lineup. Nokia, meanwhile, could become the maker of WP phones - much like HTC did back in the day when they rode the WinMo wave. The trick is in knowing when to jump off.

        • I doubt it's death, so much as transformation.

          Both can be right - death is a transformation as well.

          • I doubt it's death, so much as transformation.

            Both can be right - death is a transformation as well.

            Death is also quite stable, a goal Microsoft is striving for with this. :)

    • by JabberWokky (19442) <slashdot.com@timewarp.org> on Monday March 07, 2011 @11:06AM (#35405464) Homepage Journal

      Well, Nokia still owns Qt... Digia is only handling the commercial software licensing and professional services for Qt. Basically, Digia are licensed to sell the product, but Nokia still owns and develops it in-house.

      Not exactly going "all in".

      • by Dhalka226 (559740)

        They sold the part that makes money and kept the part that costs money. I'm not sure how long that kind of arrangement can last, at least insofar as they actually plan to continue developing Qt.

        They may not be all in yet, but the pot odds are going to push them in before the end of the hand.

    • by fwarren (579763)

      Remember, there CEO is a softie, and due to the nature of the laws over there, is not able to own any sizable amount of stock in the company. All of his stock is in Microsoft. I think it is reasonable to say if WM7 fails, Microsoft stock will take a hit. Right now all of is value and worth is in Microsoft stock. Plus he has drank the MS tainted kool-aid for years. Any technology not created in Redmond is NOT good technology....unless Microsoft can buy it.

      As a good general rule of thumb. You should not have

    • by andydread (758754)
      Elop, Nokia's new CEO is an x-Microsoft executive. So this is no surprise. He left Microsoft to headup Nokia. And while at Microsoft Elop was President of the Business Division. So this is no surprise here at all. Not to mention he just sold all his MS stocks i guess to appease critics. http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/Microsofts-Stephen-Elop-moves-to-Nokia-what-a-waste/1284136468 [betanews.com]
    • by Shadowmist (57488)
      They had to.... the writing on the wall was clear for the future of Symbion.... a dead end with no future compared to an operating system that hosts the potential for open-ended application acquisition. In this case it was the marriage of two partners that were desperate for complementary ends. Microsoft needed a hardware vendor that would give it's Mobile platform a renewed reason for existence. And Nokia was left to choose between Google and Microsoft. (remember that while Android may be "free", it
    • by Locutus (9039)
      this is a former Microsoft exec, now CEO of Nokia, handing Nokia over to Microsoft as a phone asset. If you don't think so, read his speech of the deal and specifically the part on why Google was not an option. The stuff about Google being a threat to them was 100% Microsoft type fear and should have had nothing to do with Nokia.

      I'm happy to see they are not killing it outright but time will tell if the new owner isn't also a Microsoft "friend" and pulls the plug or does something effectively the same, ie m
    • by perlchild (582235)

      Either that, or it's the new CEO getting rid of as much of his predecessor's legacy as possible(and since it's a sale, it looks like a + in the books) even to the long-term detriment of the company.

    • by Pausanias (681077)

      You are kidding right? This was actually a takeover of Nokia by Microsoft. There is no "outside vendor."

    • by Carewolf (581105)

      I am pretty sure the new CEO can get his old job at Microsoft back in case this one goes bust. So at least one person at Nokia still has his plan B.

    • by Tolkien (664315)
      Especially considering Nokia and Microsoft were direct competitors in the cellular phone operating system market. I would bet money that Nokia's new CEO never left Microsoft's payroll system.
    • by GooberToo (74388)

      Kinda risky making your entire company totally dependent

      Yes and no. In publicly traded companies, perception is freqently more important than reality. From a public investor's perspective, showing you're fully committed to Windows rather than half in with hedged bets, can go a long, long ways toward ensuring investor confidence. That's not to say it necessarily worked, but chances are, that's at least part of the equation.

       

  • They sort of had to (Score:5, Informative)

    by tomhudson (43916) <.barbara.hudson. ... bara-hudson.com.> on Monday March 07, 2011 @09:51AM (#35404668) Journal
    ... while they still could. There was a "poison pill" [nokia.com] in the QT acquisition

    (For those of you who don’t know what it is, the KDE Free Qt Foundation is what we call a “poison pill” for Trolltech: should we ever stop releasing open source versions of Qt, the foundation is given the right to unilaterally release the last version of Qt under the BSD license.

    So, why not get some $$$ while you can, right?

    • Well, they didn't. They new about this arrangement when they bought Trolltech and I'd hardly call it a 'poison pill'. For all the work and testing that open source developers put into Qt it was always there to ensure that Trolltech played fair whilst still keeping their ability to create separately licensed versions on the commercial side. The arrangement has always worked very well.

      I have no idea what Nokia expected to do with Qt to be honest.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      What Does Poison Pill Mean?

      A defensive strategy used by a corporation to discourage a hostile takeover by another company. Poison pills are used to make the target company less attractive to the acquirer. There are two types of poison pills: (1) A flip-in allows existing shareholders (except the acquirer) to buy more shares at a discount. (2) A flip-over allows stockholders to buy the acquirer's shares at a discounted price after the merger.

      So definitely not a poison pill

      • by S.O.B. (136083)

        That was the definition when the concept was first created but it has been used in many other ways since.

        Now it is more generally a clause in a contract or agreement that ensures a particular behaviour or outcome by outlining the penalty if that condition is not satisfied.

        So in this case it is a poison pill.

        • by Verdatum (1257828)
          I wish all the people arguing about whether or not this constitutes a "poison pill" would just take the "red pill" and get out of my Matrix!
    • by HiThere (15173)

      What does that agreement say about the case where they start releasing versions that contain features patented by another company, but which they have an agreement with such that they won't get sued...but nobody else is protected? I'd bet that that counts as releasing an open source version, even if you don't dare use it.

      This was one of the considerations in the wording of the GPL3.

      • by tomhudson (43916)

        What does that agreement say about the case where they start releasing versions that contain features patented by another company, but which they have an agreement with such that they won't get sued...but nobody else is protected? I'd bet that that counts as releasing an open source version, even if you don't dare use it.

        This was one of the considerations in the wording of the GPL3.

        That would still be a violation of the GPL v2, as it would be a restriction on downstream recipients ability to do anything they want with the code, including, but not limited to, distribution of the code and compiling and running it for any purpose whatsoever.

  • by apodyopsis (1048476) on Monday March 07, 2011 @10:00AM (#35404756)

    I assume Digia are after commercial licensing fees, service agreements and support contracts for Qt and will attempt to build up the user base.

    Kinda sad to see Nokia vanish into a death spiral though. I really cannot see Windows based smart phones gaining traction against iPhone/Android unless they are really something special or are heavily discounted. I find the whole business tactic fairly incomprehensible to be honest, but I am assuming other people know more than me here.

    Given Nokia's position what else could they have done to preserve the market share? Any Ideas?

  • Another nail in the coffin for Meego. At least from Nokias side. Lets hope Intel can carry the burden alone...
  • by rminsk (831757) on Monday March 07, 2011 @10:03AM (#35404786)
    Nokia did not sell Qt to Digia. They sold the Qt commercial license business to Digia. Digia will now sell Qt licenses to companies like Adobe or Google who want to make closed-source modifications to Qt. Development of Qt itself will remain inside Nokia. Nokia will continue to develop Qt.
  • by dingen (958134) on Monday March 07, 2011 @10:07AM (#35404812)
    So I guess when Nokia stated on their official blog that Qt would remain to play an important role in Nokia [nokia.com] they actually forgot to add "...for about three weeks".
  • by pyalot (1197273) on Monday March 07, 2011 @10:09AM (#35404824)
    Microsoft does their own UI framework, development suite etc. pp. and QT had the audacity to think they could do it as well, including cross platform support.

    Naturally an alliance with Microsoft must include getting rid of Microsoft competitors, so little surprise there. Just confirms that whatever Nokia's gonna do, it'll not involve anything else then Microsoft approved "best" practices.
  • Looks good from a QT/KDE perspective. Digia develops Symbian, and QT and MeeGo Linux smartphones, and have had a partnership with Trolltech.

  • What happened /., you used to be cool.

    FUD much? No more stories about inaccurate (technical) reporting anymore from you then, pot kettle and all that.

  • by starseeker (141897) on Monday March 07, 2011 @10:47AM (#35405228) Homepage

    This is the commercial licensing side of Qt, *NOT* Qt. The major thing that will matter to the open source community is whether Qt will still be developed as a robust cross platform toolkit, not so much what happens to the commercial licensing business. Even Qt's future on phones doesn't concern me too much - the smart phone industry moving towards "app store" models and locked down platforms is a much bigger concern. (I'm just waiting for Apple to announce they're moving to an App Store model for all their desktop machines...)

    Where Qt really shines is as a toolkit for graphical applications on the desktop. THAT's what ultimately concerns me - will the developers who have made Qt such an outstanding cross platform graphical toolkit will be allowed to continue their work as a paid, full time job? Never mind the phones, KDE and a vast array of non-KDE desktop applications that are important parts of the open source ecosystem rely on Qt (especially those that have to deploy on Windows). Would the commercial Linux vendors step in to keep the Qt devs programming, much as they have hired Linux kernel folk in the past? Libreoffice indicates they will act to protect key elements of open source, so fingers crossed. A statement along those lines would be reassuring, if they are in fact able and willing to fall back to that solution if necessary.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2011 @11:21AM (#35405640)

    Hi all
    Here are a few points that might add clarity.

    Nokia did not 'sell Qt'. It selected a partner to sell commercial licenses and support services, a task that is currently done by Nokia. Qt is offered under two licenses - commercial and LGPL - and the large (majority in fact) base of non commercial users are not impacted by this change.

    The agreement lets Nokia focus on Qt for its core businesses, and ensures Qt commercial customers - mainly in the desktop and embedded space - are given top service by a company that has commercial Qt licensing at the core of its interests.

    The development of Qt has not been sold or outsourced and is not impacted by this change. Nokia's commitment to advancing and developing Qt for all Qt users has not changed - it remains commited.

    You can read some more details at http://blog.qt.nokia.com/2011/03/07/nokia-and-digia-working-together

    Regards
    David Stone
    Communications Manager, Qt

  • Qt-Gon Jinn: Do you hear that flushing sound?
    Jar-Jar Nokia: *Nod*
    Qt-Gon Jinn: That is the sound of you flushing your business down to toilet.
    Nemoidian Ballmer: BRING ME NEW ASSMONKEY!
    Jar-Jar Nokia: My fucked up! My fucked up!

  • by Locutus (9039) on Monday March 07, 2011 @01:33PM (#35407712)
    the results show Digia as a big Microsoft fan, supporter, customer, partner.

    Watch Qt licensing and support fees to skyrocket to drive Qt out of the market. Nokia won't be implicated but that is probably the plan. Anything cross platform has _always_ been a threat to Microsoft and they have done everything legal and many time illegal to destroy these. Qt is a threat to Microsoft and destroying Qt also helps them hurt companies like Google and Adobe who base many of their tools and products on Qt. IMO

    I figured this would happen but hoped it wouldn't. it sucks.

    LoB
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Digia is just a quite generic Finnish integrator / consulting company with a large mobile division (relatively speaking) and some own products that they sell mostly domestically e.g Progress based ERP and mobile company phonebook with multiplatform support. They do partner with about any main stream software vendor like Microsoft, Oracle, IBM or Progress. I do not think they are particularly evil unless they got paid big time for being one.

      Strange think is that Digia bought QT licencing business as they do

      • by Locutus (9039)
        I knew a guy who ran a small consulting biz and once he signed to be a Microsoft "Partner" he could not accept contracts using competing tools. So when I see so many tags showing a Digia & Microsoft Partner program membership, it stands to reason they will not do good things with the cross platform Qt. Cross platform anything has always put a bullseye on it for Microsoft to aim at and take out. It started in the early 90s with cross platform C++ frameworks, moved to 3D OpenGL and kept going from there.
  • Ever since the Qt acquisition by Nokia, Qt on the desktop has been neglected in favour of the latest shiny mobile thing. Now that commercial customers finally get someone to talk to who do not have years to catch up on their competition (and are understandably a bit busy), we might expect desktop features to move forward as well.

    Granted, some of the things that is coming out of the mobile efforts also do greatly benefit the desktop side, but still, the focus has clearly been elsewhere.

    Also, what is up with

  • they are finnished with it, then?

HELP!!!! I'm being held prisoner in /usr/games/lib!

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