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29 March 2011, 10:50

Nokia tells Qt developers it is investing

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In an open letter to developers, Nokia's Purinma Kochikar, Vice President of Nokia Forum, said that Nokia plans to continue investing in Qt for mobile devices. Kochikar called Qt "the development platform for Symbian and future MeeGo technology" and said that it "remains critically important" to the company. She described the sale of the commercial Qt licensing business "used mainly by developers of embedded and desktop applications beyond the mobile market" as part of the Nokia's plan of "focusing on future developments".

On what devices those future developments will run was still somewhat in doubt though, based on the letter. There will be new Symbian devices this year and next year according to Kochicar, but the commitment to continued support was somewhat unenthusiastic. "As a very minimum, we have a legal obligation, varying in length between countries, to support users for a period of time after the last product has been sold" she said, explaining that Nokia's hope was that customers would then switch to their Windows Phone 7 based devices. Nokia's definition of support appears to be the legal one of providing fixes and maintenance to consumer products, rather than the active development and marketing which developers usually regard as support.

Qt is not supported on Windows Phone 7 devices and Nokia has no plans to change that situation. Kochicar does say app analytics, in-app advertising and purchasing, a new browser and hardware enhancements are on the way for Qt in "soon-to-be-released" APIs. There was though, no mention of the planned MeeGo device that Nokia said it was readying for this year. Nokia is exploring using Qt "in other strategic investment areas" which may be a reference to projects such as the recently announced MeeGo Smart TV Working Group.

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