Digia buys Qt - Update
The open source cross platform application framework Qt has been sold by its owner Nokia. Digia, the Finnish software and services company that previously purchased the commercial assets of Nokia's Qt development has announced that it is acquiring the entire Qt business and assets from Nokia. The deal will make Digia responsible for all of Nokia's previous Qt activities including product development, services, and commercial and open source licensing. The company estimates that over 450,000 developers and "thousands of companies" have used Qt.
The future owner says that, once acquired, it plans to "quickly enable Qt on Android, iOS and Windows 8 platforms". There have been previous projects to port Qt to Android, but this is the first time there has been a high-level commitment to put the cross platform application framework on Android or iOS.
Up to 125 Nokia employees, mainly in Oslo and Berlin, who worked on Qt will transfer to Digia; Nokia closed Qt's Australian development offices in early August. Digia says that it is also committing to work with the wider Qt ecosystem to see a "successful release of Qt5" and has already committed to continue the Qt Project and Qt's open source and commercial availability.
With continued development of Qt, the KDE community should be further reassured that they can continue work on their Qt-based desktop environment. Digia's SVP of International Products, Tommi Laitinen said "Now is a good time for everyone to revisit their perception of Qt" while noting the company's plans to invest in Qt on the desktop, in embedded systems and on new mobile platforms. Further information will be available on qt.digia.com.
In announcing the purchase, Digia reports that its previous acquisition of Qt's commercial licensing operations in March 2011 has been successful and has grown substantially such that it will have a positive impact on the company's 2012 revenues. Neither company disclosed the value of the deal but Reuters cites analysts estimating the deal's value as a "fraction of the $150 million" that Nokia paid for Trolltech in 2008.
Update 10-08-12: After announcing that it would acquire the Qt technology from Nokia, Digia sent a letter to the KDE community. In it Tuukka Turunen, the company's R&D Director, says that Digia wants to further develop its relationship with the KDE community through "an even stronger dialogue and cooperation in the future". He goes on to note that, ahead of planned completion of the acquisition, Digia wants to meet with KDE community representatives and other key Qt stakeholders "to discuss and agree on the future of Qt".
Update 2 10-08-12: Digia has now confirmed to Reuters that it will pay $4.92 million (approximately £3.15 million) to Nokia for its Qt software business.