Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 28th Jan 2008 09:33 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Qt Trolltech, the originator of Qt, which forms the basis of the Linux KDE desktop environment, is being acquired by Nokia, the world's number-one mobile phone vendor. Nokia expects its acquisition of Trolltech to accelerate its cross-platform software strategy for mobile devices and desktop applications, and to enhance its Internet services business. The original press release is also available. Update: "We will continue to actively develop Qt and Qtopia. We also want to underline that we will continue to support the open source community by continuing to release these technologies under the GPL."
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One of the points: licensing
by obsethryl on Mon 28th Jan 2008 09:49 UTC
obsethryl
Member since:
2006-11-16

What is of interest is if there is any immediate danger coming from this and you can find all the details here:

http://www.kde.org/whatiskde/kdefreeqtfoundation.php

"To fulfil the purpose of the Foundation, an agreement between Trolltech and the Foundation was made. This gives the Foundation the right to release Qt under a BSD-style license in case Trolltech doesn't continue the development of the Qt Free Edition for any reason including, but not limited to, a buy-out of Trolltech, a merger or bankruptcy."

Good.

Reply Score: 24

Hmm this is not good news I don't think.
by RawMustard on Mon 28th Jan 2008 09:56 UTC
RawMustard
Member since:
2005-10-10

I wonder how long before they find ways to screw people over using their tool kit? Just like they screwed people over buying their N95 phones. For those wondering, they removed a feature from the GPS navigation part in a firmware update, basically making the GPS part of the phone useless unless you paid them more money.

These kind of underhanded tactics stink. I hope this won't be a trend when using their newly acquired tool kit.

Reply Score: 1

melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

Well, what do you expect from a monopoly? Nokia has a monopoly in the mobile phone department, they can do what they want...this is why any company that has more than 50% of the market should have it's market forcibly capped by the government.

Dave

Reply Score: 1

nilkki Member since:
2007-10-26

Over 50? Where did you get that?
It has just broke over 40%: http://www.mobilemonday.net/news/nokia-market-share-breaks-40-per-c...

EDIT: fixed link

Edited 2008-01-29 11:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

And in Australia, it's way over 50%. Sorry, I should have made it clear that I was referring to local markets, country to country, and not globally. From memory, Nokia is weak in Europe, where Sony-Ericsson and Motorala are strong.

Dave

Reply Score: 1

It's time for changing...
by timofonic on Mon 28th Jan 2008 10:00 UTC
timofonic
Member since:
2006-01-26

Hopefully this will make some companies considering to use other toolkits like WxWidgets or FLTK.

I see big companies eat smaller ones and the future can be very bad, full of monopolistic giants everywhere with more power than governments.

Another thing is that the commercial licensing can change, being more expensive or restrictive.

I see there are hidden intentions, like making use of the WebKit port and qtopia that can start to be a serious competitor to Symbian in the future. I think GTK will have things more difficult, losing one of the potential users of the toolkit.

Edited 2008-01-28 10:07 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: It's time for changing...
by BSDfan on Mon 28th Jan 2008 10:12 UTC in reply to "It's time for changing..."
BSDfan Member since:
2007-03-14

Being a little bit over-dramatic don't ya think? ;)

Reply Score: 11

RE: It's time for changing...
by mallard on Mon 28th Jan 2008 10:21 UTC in reply to "It's time for changing..."
mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

I think GTK will have things more difficult, losing one of the potential users of the toolkit.


Nokia aren't a potential user of GTK, they are an active user. The Internet Tablet's Maemo environment uses it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: It's time for changing...
by dagw on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:46 UTC in reply to "RE: It's time for changing..."
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

There was also a story here not too long ago about how Nokia wheren't entirely happy with the direction GTK 3.0 was taking. Perhaps buying Trolltech is a way for them to get complete control over their future gui toolkits and to able to offer the same development environment (more or less) on phones, internet tablets and PC desktops.

Reply Score: 4

RE: It's time for changing...
by evangs on Mon 28th Jan 2008 17:26 UTC in reply to "It's time for changing..."
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

or FLTK


Please tell me you're not serious? FLTK is not comparable to Qt or even wxWidgets.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: It's time for changing...
by bnolsen on Mon 28th Jan 2008 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE: It's time for changing..."
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Sadly true. fltk is on life support barely above abandonware levels. Currently what kills fltk as a useable toolkit is it's inability to gracefullly handle automatic relayout due to language/locale changes. Not to mention that the api in many places feels like an amateuristic hack.

It could be tempting to take the fltk code base and actually make something out of it, though.

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's time for changing...
by Havin_it on Wed 30th Jan 2008 11:25 UTC in reply to "It's time for changing..."
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

Hopefully this will make some companies considering to use other toolkits like WxWidgets or FLTK.


God I hope WxWidgets doesn't get more widespread. Every night I pray Audacity will switch to Qt or anything else so I don't have to keep the 1.2GB free for when I need to recompile wxGTK ;)

Reply Score: 1

Nokia not trustworthy
by jacquouille on Mon 28th Jan 2008 10:07 UTC
jacquouille
Member since:
2006-01-02

First remember that recent bit:
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071210-nokia-wants-w3c-to-re...

Plus the fact that Nokia is strongly supporting software patentability.
http://eupat.ffii.org/gasnu/nokia/index.en.html

Plus the fact that Nokia recently shut down the Bochum factory after having received abnormally high state subsidies:
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/function/0,2145,12215_cid_3091297,00.html

That was the starters.

Now consider that Nokia has very little to bring to Trolltech. Trolltech is already doing well financially and manages to pay enough engineers to develop Qt very fast. It is not at all like Trolltech has an urgent need for an acquirer. You could say more money never hurts, but actually it can, first because each company needs to grow at its own pace and not faster than that, and second because that money comes at the price of independence.

The other huge issue is that Nokia is already deeply involved with GTK and GNOME (and Maemo is based on that). So I am not sure what they are doing. I think they should announce clearly their intentions to the community. Are they ditching Maemo in favor of Qtopia, or are they trying to shut down Qtopia? The first is already bad as it reduces diversity; the second would of course be even much worse. Either way, it's bad news. Unfortunately I can't think of a better third option, but perhaps I'm missing something?

I don't know what the Trolltech management is doing but I think it's a terrible mistake. (For what it's worth I have been a fan of Trolltech and contribute a bit to KDE).

Reply Score: 10

RE: Nokia not trustworthy
by _LH_ on Mon 28th Jan 2008 11:09 UTC in reply to "Nokia not trustworthy"
_LH_ Member since:
2005-07-20

Plus the fact that Nokia recently shut down the Bochum factory after having received abnormally high state subsidies:
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/function/0,2145,12215_cid_3091297,00.html


Maybe it's time for you to realise that there is no way to do successful business based solely on state subsidies. And Nokia's subsidies weren't paid by the state but by EU.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Nokia not trustworthy
by Dinadan on Mon 28th Jan 2008 12:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Nokia not trustworthy"
Dinadan Member since:
2005-10-11

that is not the point, the point is that is is unethical behavior to first cash the subsidies and then shutdown the production and lay off all emplyees. don't expect them to do trolltech any good. this is a bad day for KDE.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Nokia not trustworthy
by tuttle on Mon 28th Jan 2008 13:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Nokia not trustworthy"
tuttle Member since:
2006-03-01

that is not the point, the point is that is is unethical behavior to first cash the subsidies and then shutdown the production and lay off all emplyees. don't expect them to do trolltech any good. this is a bad day for KDE.


What is unethical about that? They made a deal with the government that they would guarantee the jobs for x amount of subsidies until 2006. They did exactly what they promised in the contract for the subsidies.

Now that the subsidies have run out, they move somewhere where production is cheaper. They can not afford to pay huge german wages when all other mobile phone manufacturers are producing in asia.

Nokia is not a charity but a for-profit corporation. So you can not expect them to waste an opportunity to reduce costs.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Nokia not trustworthy
by Almindor on Mon 28th Jan 2008 14:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nokia not trustworthy"
Almindor Member since:
2006-01-16

And exactly THAT is unethical. It might be logical, it might be business-like but it's unethical non the less. And yes that means that all capitalist companies are unethical.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Nokia not trustworthy
by _LH_ on Mon 28th Jan 2008 14:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Nokia not trustworthy"
_LH_ Member since:
2005-07-20

And exactly THAT is unethical. It might be logical, it might be business-like but it's unethical non the less. And yes that means that all capitalist companies are unethical.


Isn't it unethical for a state to give out this kind of money knowing that it is unlikely the company will be there in ten years anyway?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Nokia not trustworthy
by RandomGuy on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Nokia not trustworthy"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

Maybe so, but these politicians seem pretty retarded (or bribed but that's even worse) to give them any money in the first place.

Companies can argue that they have to focus on profits for their shareholders. It does'nt make them less evil but it's a valid argument nevertheless.

Politicians on the other hand are elected and paid by the general public so they damn well better take care of our wellbeing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Nokia not trustworthy
by tuttle on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Nokia not trustworthy"
tuttle Member since:
2006-03-01

Maybe so, but these politicians seem pretty retarded (or bribed but that's even worse) to give them any money in the first place.


I don't think so. I think the politicians and nokia made a deal like this: nokia gets a few millions of subsidies => guarantees several thousand jobs for a few years => unemployment statistics in the area look good => politician gets reelected.

Everybody got what he wanted out of the deal, except for the taxpayer who had to pay for the subsidies. This kind of stuff happens all the time.

Companies can argue that they have to focus on profits for their shareholders. It does'nt make them less evil but it's a valid argument nevertheless.


I don´t think it is evil to make a profit.

Politicians on the other hand are elected and paid by the general public so they damn well better take care of our wellbeing.


Subsidies are almost never in the interest of the general population. But every single subsidy is in the interest of small but vocal group, while it is just a tiny annoyance for the general population. So adding new subsidies lets politicians buy votes, while removing subsidies usually wont.

Reply Score: 6

RE[7]: Nokia not trustworthy
by RandomGuy on Mon 28th Jan 2008 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Nokia not trustworthy"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

I think the politicians and nokia made a deal like this: nokia gets a few millions of subsidies => guarantees several thousand jobs for a few years => unemployment statistics in the area look good => politician gets reelected.

Yeah, either that or the company pays for their campaigns and helps them get (re)elected. Let's face it, most people vote for the biggest piece of sh*t as long as it has a nice wrapping...

I don't think it is evil to make a profit.

Not as such. It depends on how you make the profit.
In this case I bet there are a lot of employees who didn't see this coming and who are now severely screwed because they and their families depend on the job.

Nobody will starve, thanks to welfare, so it's not as evil as hitting an old lady over the head, stealing her money and leaving her for dead.
But it's not a good thing to do either...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Nokia not trustworthy
by tuttle on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Nokia not trustworthy"
tuttle Member since:
2006-03-01

And exactly THAT is unethical. It might be logical, it might be business-like but it's unethical non the less. And yes that means that all capitalist companies are unethical.


It is not unethical for a company to maximize profit, as long as they do not pollute the environment or harm the competition.

The alternative is that the company does a lot of unprofitable business decisions until it goes bankrupt and has to fire everybody. That happens again and again with state-owned companies that try to defy business sense and act "socially responsible". It works for a few years, and then at some point it all breaks down.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Nokia not trustworthy
by Kondor337 on Mon 28th Jan 2008 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nokia not trustworthy"
Kondor337 Member since:
2006-09-16

> What is unethical about that? They made a deal with the government
> that they would guarantee the jobs for x amount of subsidies until
> 2006. They did exactly what they promised in the contract for the
> subsidies.

First of all, even if they didn't violate the law, it doesn't make it less unethical. Not nearly everything that is legal is ethical.
Additionally, it looks like Nokia did NOT what they promised in the contract and therefore they will probably have to return about 40 million Euros in subsidies to the government of North-Rhine-Westphalia:

http://www.fr-online.de/in_und_ausland/wirtschaft/aktuell/?sid=7b96... (German)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Nokia not trustworthy
by dagw on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Nokia not trustworthy"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

So what, in your mind, should they have done? Kept a highly unprofitable plant going indefinitly? Why should Nokia hemorage money so some people can keep their jobs? If you can't compete on price you better compete on speed and quality. If you simply can't compete why should you be kept around?

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Nokia not trustworthy
by Kondor337 on Mon 28th Jan 2008 17:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nokia not trustworthy"
Kondor337 Member since:
2006-09-16

> Kept a highly unprofitable plant going indefinitly? Why should Nokia
> hemorage money so some people can keep their jobs?

Highly unprofitable?? There's a very big difference between a highly profitable plant that's only not as profitable as it perhaps could be in another country with lower wages, and an unprofitable, let alone "highly unprofitable" plant!

Additionally, Nokia has compared Apples and Oranges: They compared the costs of production and R&D in Bochum to just production elsewhere. Had they compared production in Bochum vs. production in Finnland, Bochum wouldn't have been less profitable:

http://www.focus.de/finanzen/news/betriebsrat_aid_235055.html (German)

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Nokia not trustworthy
by Lunitik on Mon 28th Jan 2008 19:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Nokia not trustworthy"
Lunitik Member since:
2005-08-07

They were losing about $40 million to the plant, DESPITE subsidiaries... I'm guessing that's bad for business...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Nokia not trustworthy
by Wintermute on Mon 28th Jan 2008 19:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Nokia not trustworthy"
Wintermute Member since:
2005-07-30

The fact that Nokia is public corporation means it obliged to do whatever is within legal limits to improve profitability. Even if does cost only say a million euros extra to keep a factory in Europe, Nokia is still under obligation to relocate it's factory to wherever they think ti would be cheaper.

Now don't get wrong I am far from being right wing on economic issues, but this is the world we live in. Nokia understands this and they are doing whatever it takes to keep competitive...

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Nokia not trustworthy
by REMF on Mon 28th Jan 2008 23:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Nokia not trustworthy"
REMF Member since:
2006-02-05

"Additionally, Nokia has compared Apples and Oranges: They compared the costs of production and R&D in Bochum to just production elsewhere."

In that case they would merely be stupid, not corrupt or evil as you seem to think.

I highly doubt Nokia is stupid.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nokia not trustworthy
by trenchsol on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:37 UTC in reply to "Nokia not trustworthy"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

Don't ever forget that Nokia spent their hard earned money to but Trolltech. They have every right to expect something in return.

The companies out there do not exist for sole purpose to give their property away for free.

DG

Reply Score: 4

RE: Nokia not trustworthy
by elsewhere on Mon 28th Jan 2008 17:32 UTC in reply to "Nokia not trustworthy"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

So I am not sure what they are doing. I think they should announce clearly their intentions to the community. Are they ditching Maemo in favor of Qtopia, or are they trying to shut down Qtopia?


They already have.
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39292448,00.htm

FTA:

Nokia's intention is to use Trolltech's technology to develop its next generation of software horizontally across "all the major software platforms in the world", said Öistämö, who specified Series 60, Series 40, Windows Mobile, Apple OS X and Linux. However, he stressed that Nokia's existing Linux-based devices, such as the N810 tablet, would continue to use the Gnome environment rather than KDE.

"The Qt tools… allow developers to build applications across different types of devices and PCs," said Öistämö. "In practice, Qt is the only set of libraries and tools available on all desktops and on mobiles. With Qt, the services and applications can be built only once and then simply compiled using Qt tools to bring the innovation to all different software platforms, [thus allowing] a faster time to market."

"Qt also is the most compact solution within the market allowing use in [low-end] devices, where memory is quite pricey and always a constraint," said Öistämö. "Qt is a great fit with Nokia's assets and evolution plans."

Öistämö promised that Nokia would "actively contribute to the open-source community, especially KDE", and would "continue to invest in Qt, adding more advanced graphical capabilities". He also provided reassurance that, as one of Nokia's key drivers for the acquisition had been Trolltech's "talent", the manufacturer had "no plans to reduce (Trolltech's) workforce".


Seems like a pretty reasonable strategy to me, and one that is in line with Nokia's growth strategy.

I don't know what the Trolltech management is doing but I think it's a terrible mistake. (For what it's worth I have been a fan of Trolltech and contribute a bit to KDE).


Why, again?

Reply Score: 11

outlook killer
by evert on Mon 28th Jan 2008 10:17 UTC
evert
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is great news for me! I'm sticking to the Windows world for a few reasons, one of them being Microsoft Outlook. It's a wonderful calendaring program, much more mature than most OSS antagonists. And it can sync with my Nokia software.

Now we will be guided to a world where Nokia syncs with Kontact like apps. I'm already waiting for Kontact to become mature (KDE4 cross-platform), and this just accellerates things.

Reply Score: 4

My first reaction
by kajaman on Mon 28th Jan 2008 10:32 UTC
kajaman
Member since:
2006-01-06

Ok, I'm shocked. I shouldn't be, because this sounds like good decision from Nokia, still a shock for me.
The other thing is that Nokia is seen by many free source enthusiasts as evil guys. Just to mention their active participation in forcing software patents in Europe.
The good thing is that it was seen for quite a long time that Nokia was joining free software world with their previous products (like Maemo-based tablets).
I just hope this will be good for Qt, which is my favourite API for writing gui apps...

Reply Score: 2

RE: My first reaction
by JCooper on Mon 28th Jan 2008 11:05 UTC in reply to "My first reaction"
JCooper Member since:
2005-07-06

I too am shocked, no matter how good this is for both Nokia and Trolltech.

What does concern me is the longevity of Nokia's "investment" in GTK (including maemo/hildon). Does this mean the N8xx successor will be a Qt powered device?

Still, investment in technology that underpins many open source projects can only be a good thing. I just hope they continue their GTK contributions.

Reply Score: 6

Damn
by mariux on Mon 28th Jan 2008 10:44 UTC
mariux
Member since:
2005-11-13

And here i was contemplating whether or not to buy trolltech stocks a few days ago, at 10NOK, now they got sold for 16NOK :\

But i this will be a good thing overall for Qt and KDE

Reply Score: 3

KDE employees
by Erunno on Mon 28th Jan 2008 11:09 UTC
Erunno
Member since:
2007-06-22

I wonder what will happen to sponsered KDE developers like Aaron Seigo once Nokia aquires Trolltech. Nokia is bent on maximizing their profits at all costs (as seen by the recent closure of the Bochum manufactory) and could come to the conclusion that these developers are dead weight and not relevant for their shareholders.

I'm also slightly worried by this annoucement.

Reply Score: 4

RE: KDE employees
by _LH_ on Mon 28th Jan 2008 11:24 UTC in reply to "KDE employees"
_LH_ Member since:
2005-07-20

I wonder what will happen to sponsered KDE developers like Aaron Seigo once Nokia aquires Trolltech. Nokia is bent on maximizing their profits at all costs (as seen by the recent closure of the Bochum manufactory) and could come to the conclusion that these developers are dead weight and not relevant for their shareholders.

I'm also slightly worried by this annoucement.


I wouldn't really say "at all cost" because Bochum was 6% of their production but 25% of costs.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: KDE employees
by Kondor337 on Mon 28th Jan 2008 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE: KDE employees"
Kondor337 Member since:
2006-09-16

> I wouldn't really say "at all cost" because Bochum was 6% of their
> production but 25% of costs.

This has been shown to be untrue. Nokia compared the costs of production and R&D in Bochum to just production elsewhere. Had they compared production in Bochum vs. production in Finnland, Bochum wouldn't have been less profitable:

http://www.focus.de/finanzen/news/betriebsrat_aid_235055.html (German)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: KDE employees
by nilkki on Tue 29th Jan 2008 07:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: KDE employees"
nilkki Member since:
2007-10-26

Yes, that might be true (i don't read german too good). But you have to understand what Nokia means to Finnish people/economy. If they would shut down the factory in Salo, it would be quite a negative publicity for them here in Finland. Now at least they have pinch of image of being a Finnish company.

Reply Score: 1

RE: KDE employees
by KugelKurt on Mon 28th Jan 2008 11:45 UTC in reply to "KDE employees"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

could come to the conclusion that these developers are dead weight and not relevant for their shareholders.

Trolltech expanded in recent years, because (not despite) of KDE. KDE is huge promotion for Qt and cancelling KDE support is like stop posting ads in newspapers.

Reply Score: 7

RE: KDE employees
by segedunum on Mon 28th Jan 2008 12:08 UTC in reply to "KDE employees"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Nokia is bent on maximizing their profits at all costs (as seen by the recent closure of the Bochum manufactory)


As far as I'm aware, Bochum ate money without producing too much in return. It happens.

I wonder what will happen to sponsered KDE developers like Aaron Seigo once Nokia aquires Trolltech.......and could come to the conclusion that these developers are dead weight and not relevant for their shareholders.


I doubt it. Qt and Trolltech gets an awful lot out of that relationship, and the good thing from the accountants' and shareholders' point of view is that the whole thing pays its way. Trolltech also seem to be guiding Nokia more than the other way around:

http://trolltech.com/28012008/28012008-letter

Reply Score: 6

RE: KDE employees
by progoth on Mon 28th Jan 2008 18:40 UTC in reply to "KDE employees"
progoth Member since:
2006-10-28

The better their profits, the more money they spend on giving employees bonuses. Our bonus for the last half of 2007 is going to be great. I think "maximizing profits at all costs" would preclude giving bonuses to their employees.

Reply Score: 3

S60 development
by _LH_ on Mon 28th Jan 2008 11:12 UTC
_LH_
Member since:
2005-07-20

Maybe they'll port Qt to S60 and make Symbian software development finally pain free. They have been talking about making developing easier for time now and have even done Python for S60.

Reply Score: 3

Nokia is buying Trolltech for Qtopia?
by nilkki on Mon 28th Jan 2008 11:42 UTC
nilkki
Member since:
2007-10-26

My first thought was that Nokia is buying Trolltech for Qtopia, not so much for Qt.

Perhaps they are thinking of putting linux to their (smart)phones and replacing Symbian? There are a lot of people who have experience in Qt. Maybe they want phone programming more accessible? My experience with Symbian is very limited, but i've understood that it's quite complicated to program and that there isn't enougn competent people to fill all the jobs.

On the other hand they have put lot of effort to Symbian, so it seems unlikely that they would dump it in favor of Linux/Qtopia.

Or maybe it's just to avoid someone else getting Qt(opia).

Anyway this is quite exciting news.

Reply Score: 2

KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

My first thought was that Nokia is buying Trolltech for Qtopia, not so much for Qt.

Since Qt4 Qtopia and Qt are pretty much the same thing. Qt was modularized in v4, because Trolltech didn't want to maintain two code bases.

Reply Score: 4

Hmmm, Interesting
by segedunum on Mon 28th Jan 2008 11:59 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's interesting in that Trolltech have been the subject of many takeover interests before, and they always seem to have resisted. Additionally, Trolltech has an unusual ownership from what I've read before where the employees pretty much have a good share of the company, so something must have happened here to change their mind and this wouldn't be bad. The thing that kills most takeovers and mergers like this is a lack of communication and cultural barriers, but considering that they're both Scandinavian companies, this should be mitigated.

Mind you, they still have to actually accept it.

I sincerely hope Nokia use Trolltech well, and if they want to keep competitors like Windows Mobile and the iPhone off their backs in the coming years, they need good software for people to develop on their platforms. Nokia's has been sorely lacking thus far in whatever they do.

I'm most pleased to see that Nokia want the continuation of the dual licensing of Qt. Considering that Qt is profitable and is paying its own way, I think they would be extremely unwise to interfere. We've seen many larger companies take over open source companies, only for their accountants to become totally disinterested when they realise that what they're producing isn't paying its way.

Apparently, Nokia will apply to become a patron of KDE, and Trolltech and Nokia will apparently set up a working group over open source software. As I said, considering the approaches Trolltech has rejected in the past, I didn't think they would go for this unless something was different:

http://trolltech.com/28012008/28012008-letter

Reply Score: 7

Why buy them?
by FunkyELF on Mon 28th Jan 2008 13:18 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

Whats the point in buying Trolltech when you can just use QT?
Was it to the point where they would have to pay for too many licenses and it made sense to buy them?
Was it so that they could control the direction of QT?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why buy them?
by hackmeister on Mon 28th Jan 2008 14:15 UTC in reply to "Why buy them?"
hackmeister Member since:
2006-10-26

I think the whole point of this takeover is Qtopia. Yes the Nokia N800 series internet tablet uses Maemo (based on gtk). Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't most of Nokia cell phones running Symbian? Maybe buying Trolltech is cheaper than continually licensing Symbian. Plus they have a hell of lot more control in the direction Qtopia & Qt moves in.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Why buy them?
by _LH_ on Mon 28th Jan 2008 14:23 UTC in reply to "Why buy them?"
_LH_ Member since:
2005-07-20

Whats the point in buying Trolltech when you can just use QT?
Was it to the point where they would have to pay for too many licenses and it made sense to buy them?
Was it so that they could control the direction of QT?


I think that Nokia wants Qt for S60 to ease development of Symbian apps and that would likely take so much porting effort that it's just easier to buy the whole thing. I really can't believe that Nokia would dump Symbian and S60 for Qtopia.

Reply Score: 1

Funny...
by Almafeta on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:15 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

April 1st is still several weeks away.

Reply Score: 3

v Nokia need to go GPL only
by Moulinneuf on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:16 UTC
optimistic
by REMF on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:26 UTC
REMF
Member since:
2006-02-05

i think this will be a good move for Trolltech, and at te very least neutral for KDE.

Kongrats

Reply Score: 2

RE: optimistic
by sbergman27 on Mon 28th Jan 2008 23:55 UTC in reply to "optimistic"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

i think this will be a good move for Trolltech, and at te very least neutral for KDE.


I don't see what Nokia would be interested in except QTopia. So this is probably good for QTopia. But I don't see Nokia caring much about all the desktop tech. It's not their line of business at all. In fact, desktops are what they'd like to kill, in the name of the cell phone device revolution. I expect that the KDE guys are going to effectively end up having to take over development of QT.

Looks like the day of reckoning has come. And we will get to see how much help GPL actually is when a large and highly complex code base gets dumped on us.

Edited 2008-01-28 23:58 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: optimistic
by anda_skoa on Tue 29th Jan 2008 12:59 UTC in reply to "RE: optimistic"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

But I don't see Nokia caring much about all the desktop tech. It's not their line of business at all.


I think they are looking into making it part of their business.

The mobile and desktop market already started to overlap and I am pretty sure Nokia wants their share of the "EEE PC" style market as well, for which they need "desktop tech"

Reply Score: 5

hmmm
by poundsmack on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:34 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

I hope they post an article on their intentions on with QT. but it might not be al bad. thye may just let QT do its thing like Harman did when they bought out QNX

Reply Score: 2

Good news for KDE
by ebasconp on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:35 UTC
ebasconp
Member since:
2006-05-09

KDE needs enterprise support to grow faster [like Linux with RedHat, Suse, etc.]; so, this buy will be an indirect booster for KDE.

Reply Score: 2

Interesting times ahead ?
by elsewhere on Mon 28th Jan 2008 15:37 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

Not sure what to make of this. The company I work for has had a business relationship with Nokia for several years, though on the enterprise products/platform side. I just had a review meeting with them last week, and there was mention that they would be continuing their acquisition strategy as they build out the software and services piece of their business. Sure as hell didn't see this coming, though.

But it shouldn't be too surprising. There have been many changes within Nokia over the last while, including a hefty restructuring. It's evident, even to those unfamiliar with the company but keeping an eye on the press releases, that Nokia is shifting emphasis from the phone as a product to the phone as a platform for building out much more lucrative portfolio of related software and services.

I'm going to reserve judgment on how large an impact this will have on the consumer side until the iPhone has been out long enough to see if there truly is a "halo" effect that can shift the way smart phones are used in that market space.

But on the enterprise side, you're going to see a push for smart phones to become part of the infrastructure. They've got a framework for managing and securing portable devices, a framework for mobile data transfer and application integration, and integration within enterprise communication infrastructures, whether simply email / groupware or through partnerships with companies like Cisco or Avaya that turn smart phones into IP handsets. It makes sense that they would look to a cross-platform development framework that could unify mobile applications with traditional desktop based ones, among other things.

But that's just speculation based on my familiarity with the enterprise side of their business, and I could be way off. Maybe this is simply to counter the hype Google was trying to generate for Android, and is probably a better approach if that's the case.

As for the tablet business, Nokia has commented in the past that they were disappointed at what they perceived to be deficiencies in GTK and the lack of roadmap for it, maybe they felt it made more sense to purchase Qt/Qtopia rather than invest in building out GTK further for mobile robustness. The fact that KDE was ported intact to run on the tablets without optimization certainly strengthens that view, if Nokia was paying attention.

But again, just more speculation on my part. I'll remain cautiously optimistic that Nokia sees serious potential in Qtopia as a framework for bridging desktop and mobile platforms, in much the same way as the KDE team is leveraging Qt for bridging OSS and proprietary platforms.

This acquisition is going to raise many questions no doubt, so at least the one thing we can be sure of is that the blogosphere will be rife with rumor, paranoia and conspiracy theories for some time to come. Should keep things interesting for a while... ;)

Reply Score: 17

Mixed opinions...
by madcrow on Mon 28th Jan 2008 17:17 UTC
madcrow
Member since:
2006-03-13

On the one hand, Nokia has historically been the most FOSS-friendly of all the various phone makers and probably doesn't intent and nefariousness with Qt. On the other hand, I don't see how a company as devoted to crap like software patents can EVER trusted at all... I suspect the new GPL 3 releases of Qt (which would directly undermine Nokia's ability to shake people down for money over BS patents) will come to an end pretty soon.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Mixed opinions...
by bnolsen on Mon 28th Jan 2008 18:09 UTC in reply to "Mixed opinions..."
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

I believe that purchasing a development license of Qt puts the user under a different license which is immune to any of the GPL clauses.

Reply Score: 1

come on!
by gsmd on Mon 28th Jan 2008 17:46 UTC
gsmd
Member since:
2007-02-02

I really wish they invested money into manufacturing as I watch the quality of their products degrade rapidly.
Symbian is just fine for my liking, no need to change anything.

Reply Score: 1

What happens to licensing?
by bnolsen on Mon 28th Jan 2008 18:06 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

We'll have to wait and see on this one.

One thing I remember about PalmOS was that there was a huge amount of 3rd party apps that could be had with it. I believe there wasn't any cost for doing 3rd party commercial development, correct?

I also don't believe that google's new phone stack requires any licensing fees to create apps either.

Reply Score: 2

Just as Qt is porting to Cocoa and WebKit
by tyrione on Mon 28th Jan 2008 18:07 UTC
tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

Nokia buys out Trolltech? This is a means of protecting their phone business, period.

Reply Score: 2

Ruby on Handhelds?
by hibridmatthias on Mon 28th Jan 2008 18:09 UTC
hibridmatthias
Member since:
2007-04-11

I am interested in this situation. If this creates a flux of development toward Linux on the mobile platform, that would be really great. (Hell I could then finally run all my little ruby apps on my phone...sweet!)

Or it could all just got go to hell..

But I, for one, am optimistic...Why does it seem like I am one of the few people optimistic about this

Edited 2008-01-28 18:11 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Comment by progoth
by progoth on Mon 28th Jan 2008 18:34 UTC
progoth
Member since:
2006-10-28

We (Nokia software division) all got an email about this last night. I got extremely excited...if nothing else, we can now use Qt for all of our UI for free! \(^.^)/
What a pleasure to develop with.

Reply Score: 13

RE: Comment by progoth
by KugelKurt on Mon 28th Jan 2008 21:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by progoth"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

I hope this will also mean increased multi-platform support for your apps.

Reply Score: 5

Hm
by Luminair on Mon 28th Jan 2008 20:27 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

Everyone knows that it was only a matter of time before someone bought Trolltech.

But I've never heard of a small company that gets bought and continues to stay the same. Usually its identity is lost and its people move on to different things.

Reply Score: 6

Does that now mean ...
by de_wizze on Tue 29th Jan 2008 02:21 UTC
de_wizze
Member since:
2005-10-31

... that the Maemo will be rewritten in KDE?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Does that now mean ...
by Best on Tue 29th Jan 2008 02:37 UTC in reply to "Does that now mean ..."
Best Member since:
2005-07-09

It could, but this seems to be a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. They've mentioned this in terms of the 's' product line, but not the 'n' line. While its entirely possible that they will switch maemo over to QT based now that they own and control its direction, that move might take a long time to happen. It doesn't seem like thats the first thing that will happen at anyrate.

How tied to trolltech is KHTML/Webkit? This could be as much about lightweight webbrowsers as it is about replacing symbian.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Does that now mean ...
by KugelKurt on Tue 29th Jan 2008 13:11 UTC in reply to "Does that now mean ..."
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

"I want also to make clear that the key driver for Nokia doing this acquisition is not to develop a Linux-based mobile device. This acquisition really is enhancing and making even more competitive S40, S60 and Maemo platforms [...] Maemo will continue to be based on Gnome [...] and S40 and S60 will evolve with Qt"

http://lists.maemo.org/pipermail/maemo-users/2008-January/009136.ht...

So, no KDE-based Maemo (yet).

Reply Score: 3

bailing, or maybe just equivocating
by MamiyaOtaru on Tue 29th Jan 2008 04:17 UTC
MamiyaOtaru
Member since:
2005-11-11

This announcement has become the impetus for me to finally act on something. http://img297.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hellognomewn9.png
^^ apt-get doing its thing to fetch me Gnome. If it doesn't suck utterly I'll keep it. (screeny is of the homely default Debian KDE as I have a terrible habit of making sweeping changes from an admin account, which I don't customize at all)

For a while I've been unhappy with KDE's direction. Usability studies that don't lead to reducing clutter, just features etc. I've been thinking if KDE is trying to be Gnome (or at least appeal to people using Gnome) why not just use Gnome? If I'm going to be getting an all new desktop with its own quirks, why not a mature one? At least I'd be using a desktop with wide support, and where the popular browsers and office suites (Firefox and OOo) fit in toolkitwise without hacks. I've been growing to love QtJambi lately, but now I can go back to SWT and not have to bemoan the lack of SWT/Qt anymore.

I've been using KDE on Debian since Sep '03 (the second month of existence of the debian-qt-kde mailing list) and on other distros a bit longer. That's a lot of momentum. Gnome also never appealed to me because of stuff like spatial browsing (a general "my way or the highway" 'tude). Yet lately they seem to have added some configurability. Nautilus' dirtree is actually far better than Dolphin's for example.

This announcement was the last push.

Obviously no one cares about one user switching. I only post this to illustrate the great unease this acquisition fills me with, and I doubt I'm the only one. Long story short: I don't think it's good for KDE. Even if Nokia has the best of intentions, it has to be a PR hit.

The poison pill has been discussed. The whole BSD thing only happens if "twelve (12) calendar months shall have elapsed since a version of Qt was released without a corresponding version of Qt Free Edition being released." Nokia can drop a code bomb every eleven months with no documentation and fulfill that agreement. We saw how well that worked with early Apple/khtml interactions. Of course, one could always work from the recent Qt3 licensed version regardless, but in any case I'm just not sure KDE has the manpower to maintain and improve a toolkit as well as a DE.

I really hope it doesn't come to that, but I'm at least now taking steps to insulate myself from the possibility by finally installing a different DE.

If any KDE poobahs cared to, they could probably give me plenty of reasons why I am overreacting or misinterpreting, but like I said, I'm probably not the only one in this state of mind. This is just horrible timing: coming right on the heels of a KDE .0 release that was everything a .0 release usually is.

Ironically, some gnomies are worried about this Nokia/Trolltech thing too ( http://macslow.thepimp.net/?p=157 ).

I guess things will calm down in a few days/weeks, but like I said, I'll be (better) prepared to stick with a winner now whatever happens.

So is the grass greener? Will any potential bugs I report in Gnome be ignored just as they usually are in KDE? Will I find it just doesn't do something I need it to do? Will that be balanced out by other things just working? I'm rather excited.

Reply Score: 1

superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

So you decide to go with Gnome because KDE *might* get more corporate influence? That's like moving to the US because the individual rights in the EU *might* degrade, even though the US is much worse to begin with...

Reply Score: 9

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Let me get this straight. You're moving to Gnome because you're afraid that KDE will get too 'corporate', in view of how many corporate interests are in Gnome today via Red Hat, Novell, Sun and Nokia? Novell's usage of Mono which no on else wants, Red Hat's new fangled online desktop, Sun's, well whatever, and Nokia pushing for GTK 3 when others don't think it is necessary?

Reply Score: 6

Disappointed in GTK+?
by Temcat on Tue 29th Jan 2008 11:33 UTC
Temcat
Member since:
2005-10-18

Did they decide that fixing GTK+ for their purposes would be more expensive than buying Trolltech outright?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Disappointed in GTK+?
by segedunum on Tue 29th Jan 2008 13:39 UTC in reply to "Disappointed in GTK+?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

GTK is on an extremely small minority of Nokia's devices. Their main focus is on Symbian, and obviously, they seem to be dissatisfied about something.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Disappointed in GTK+?
by shaunehunter on Wed 30th Jan 2008 05:56 UTC in reply to "Disappointed in GTK+?"
shaunehunter Member since:
2007-02-12

as am I. Yucky GNOME

Reply Score: 1

Get rid of the tin foil hats, people
by JeffS on Tue 29th Jan 2008 17:40 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

Why would Nokia buy Trolltech only kill Qt on the desktop? How would that benefit them? Why would they want to kill something that is profitable? Why would they want to kill something that has a huge amount of developer mind share, both open source and proprietary? Why would they want to let something flounder, when that something is what helps power such high profile, ultra cool apps like Google Earth?

C'mon people. Nokia is not going to kill Qt on the desktop, nor will they let it flounder - ITS NOT IN THERE BEST INTERESTS TO DO THAT!!

They bought Trolltech for strategic reasons, of which we can speculate:

1. iPhone - huge popularity and attention and when Apple finally releases an SDK, will have developers flocking to it like ants to sugar.

2. Google Android - This already has backing from Nokia competitors, and is generating lots of interest and buzz, especially with developers.

3. Nokia needs a platform that will have developers flocking - and Symbian doesn't cut it, nor does, apparently, Gtk. Enter QTopia.

4. QTopia is the same inner code base as regular desktop Qt, with different modules.

5. All "smart phones" need to have the ability to sync with desktops - thus KDE, and Qt based desktop apps, remain important to anything that is using QTopia.

6. Nokia probably needs to expand it's product portfolio to remain competitive.

7. It might be cheaper for them to buy Trolltech (and get Qt/QTopia), then to continue heavy development efforts with Gtk/Maemo.

8. Trolltech is not a competitor that is being acquired by Nokia in order for Nokia kill it's own competition. Trolltech is a strategic and product portfolio acquisition.

So, drop the paranoia everyone. Nokia isn't going to let Qt flounder or kill it. Nokia will either maintain status quo, or will expand Qt/QTopia. I'm guessing it's the latter, because it will be good for Nokia's bottom line.

Reply Score: 7

This could be great for linux
by shaunehunter on Wed 30th Jan 2008 05:51 UTC
shaunehunter
Member since:
2007-02-12

With QT4 being inherently multiplatform & Nokia actually trying to push it on everything we may see:

Commercial apps supported on linux/xBSD that people have been whining for so long (ie. Photoshop).

Cutting edge linux handheld support.

Better KDE apps. (Amaork is coming to windows and OSX watch it explode like Firefox.)

Lets hope for the best. (I know it's cooler to descent you FOSS mavericks you.)

I really do love KDE btw, lots, unhealthy really

Reply Score: 3