Nokia is shedding the commercial licensing and professional services business for its Qt cross-platform app development framework, selling it off to Digia.
has signed an agreement with Nokia to acquire the Qt
commercial licensing and services business from the handset giant.
Digia, through the proposed acquisition, approximately 3,500 desktop and
embedded-technology customer companies from various industries will be
transferred to Digia. The transaction is expected to close by the end of March. Nokia will
continue to invest in future development of Qt for the benefit of all users,
both commercial and LGPL, the company said.
its recent agreement with Microsoft to support Windows Phone 7-had ensured
developers that Qt would remain a viable development framework for applications
running on Nokia phones.
The news of
the sale comes on the heels of releases of Qt
, the new Qt SDK 1.1
beta and Qt 4.7.2. However, the Qt community will continue to benefit for years
to come from further Nokia investment in Qt, primarily focused on areas such as
Qt Quick, Qt WebKit and HTLM5 in addition to the ongoing work of improving
performance and stability, Sebastian
, vice president and
head of MeeGo, Qt and WebKit at Nokia, said in a March 7 blog post.
officials said with the sale, existing and new commercial customers would
benefit from the continuity of development of desktop and embedded Qt
functionality and new service models. Building on Digia's leading Qt expertise,
this acquisition further accelerates Digia's move toward international,
product-based business and widens Digia's Qt customer base. To further strengthen
its global presence, Digia will establish subsidiaries in the United States and
Norway as part of the transaction.
of Qt has in part been due to a successful dual-license model, providing open
LGPL and commercial license alternatives, which have enabled a dynamic
community of developers in 70 industries to drive a rapid evolution of the Qt
cross-platform application and UI framework," Nystrom said.
organizations that want to use Qt for their business applications choose commercial
licenses, for a variety of reasons, including restrictions in using open-source
licensed software in industries such as defense and aerospace, or the need to
provide product warranties and indemnities such as in the medical-device
industry, Nystrom said. Others choose a commercial relationship for access to
Qt professional support and services to ensure successful development of their
projects, he added.
professional services are not a core business for Nokia. On the other hand,
with hundreds of Qt experts, Helsinki, Finland-based Digia has more than seven
years' experience in providing Qt development and services, and is dedicated to
continue and grow Qt Commercial relationships as well as to contribute
innovation to the overall Qt LGPL and commercial community, Nystrom said
The use of Qt
as an application and UI framework has been growing since Nokia's
acquisition of Trolltech in 2008
The commercial customers represent a broad range of industries, including
consumer electronics, finance, aviation, energy, defense and media. Qt use has
increased the need for solid commercial support and services executed with
strong focus. Moreover, Digia's additional investment in Qt Commercial
licensing and services business on top of Nokia's significant Qt development
work creates a solid foundation and an additional boost for creating business
solutions with Qt, as well as an opportunity for customers to benefit from
Digia services, the company said.
continues to be an important technology for Nokia, and it is critical that Qt's
growth and success can continue. While Nokia will continue to invest in
developing Qt as a cross-platform framework for the mobile, desktop and embedded
segments, focusing on open-source development and expansion, we wanted a partner
who can drive the commercial-licensing and services business around Qt,"
Nystrom said in a statement. "Digia has proven, in-depth Qt expertise,
operational excellence and a keen interest in growing and improving the overall
Qt community, and is so-well positioned to expand the Qt Commercial licensing
and services business."
excited to extend our Qt business to serve our new customers. Building on our
in-depth Qt expertise and experience from demanding mission-critical solutions,
we will offer world-class commercial licensing and support services to Qt
Commercial customers," Harri Paani, senior vice president of Digia, said in a
statement. "We also look forward to driving further the evolution of Qt by
bringing in new features and services."
In addition to
acquiring the business responsibility over Qt Commercial licensing and
services, Digia also plans to employ 19 persons from Nokia's technical
consulting services team and global Qt Commercial sales and marketing teams.
The goal is to ensure that the customers will continue to deal with the people
they already know.
In his post,
Digia will now be responsible for issuing all Qt Commercial software licenses
and for providing dedicated services and support to licensees, Nokia's Qt
technical support team will support and work closely with Digia for the next
year. We will now begin work with Digia to ensure a smooth transition of all
licenses and commercial relationships.
As part of
the agreement, some members of Nokia's technical consulting services team, as
well as members of the Nokia Qt Commercial sales and marketing team will
transition to Digia, ensuring continuity of contacts for customers. Those teams
will continue to be based in Norway and in the U.S., and we will work with
Digia to minimize disruption to customers throughout the transition period.
officials reinforced the company's intent to invest in the development of Qt as
a commercial framework; in particular, the plan is to emphasize Qt in the
desktop and embedded environments and to examine new support models and functionality
requests. Digia also will provide commercial customers with improvements in
support and functionality for older platforms that were not on the Nokia
development roadmap. The holders of a Qt commercial license will be informed
about the details separately.
despite the sale of Qt's professional services and licensing operations, Nokia
still maintains that Qt is a go-to framework for development on its platforms.
We want to
emphasize our long-term commitment to Qt. Nokia will drive Qt developments in
support of our business needs, and our investments in community building,
marketing and R&D will continue to benefit all members of the Qt community.
By introducing the upcoming open-governance model, we will also enable other
companies, such as Digia, to more easily contribute to Qt, which will enrich
Nokia investments in Qt and benefit and grow the Qt community as a whole.
expect that Qt Commercial software licensees and the entire Qt community,
including all of our Qt Partners, will benefit from this change. We will
continue to actively support the Qt community-including MeeGo-as we are today
in activities such as active-developer engagement through our online community
site, events, community sponsorship and code sprints. We will also continue to
provide training materials and eLearning, Qt certification exams and enhance
our Qt Partner, Qt in Education and marketing programs and much more.
additional benefit, this acquisition will further accelerate Digia's shift
toward international, product-based business and broaden the customer base for
Digia's Qt business, the company said. It also provides Digia's Enterprise
Solution business a world-class offering that has strong synergy with Digia's
Mobile Solution business and expertise.