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Nokia acquiring TrolltechMatthew Aslett, January 28, 2008 @ 8:09 am ET
Yet another open source acquisition. This time it is mobile device vendor Nokia stepping up to the plate with its purchase of open source development tools vendor Trolltech. Nokia will offer NOK 16 is cash for Trolltech, which values the firm at roughly $153m (taking into account currency conversion and rounding).
Trolltech hadn’t yet announced its financial results for 2007, but had predicted (PDF) revenue to be over 30% up on 2006′s NOK 174.1 ($31.7m). The company has also been good enough to fully explain the implications of the acquisition. As well as the press release and stock market notification there is also a Q&A, a letter (PDF) to Trolltech’s customers, and a letter (PDF) to the Trolltech and KDE communities.
Here are the main points:
- Will the Qt and Qtopia software remain open source?
From the letter to the communities: “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.”
- What’s in it for Nokia?
From the Q&A: “The key driver for Nokia in this acquisition is cross-platform development. Trolltech’s technology will enable Nokia and third parties to develop software across platforms easier and more cost effectively; this speeds up innovation and brings new experiences to Nokia’s device portfolio and onto PCs.”
- What’s in it for Trolltech?
From the Q&A: “Trolltech will be a part of a world’s leading organization. The support and credibility this lends to the Trolltech solutions is immeasurable. Nokia plans to deploy applications and services across a number of devices and PC’s built with our technology. This is an opportunity for Trolltech to make a major impact in the market. Trolltech will be able to fulfill the company’s vision “Qt everywhere” and deliver on the goals we have outlined.”
- Are Nokia’s devices going KDE?
From ZDnet: “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 [Dr Kai] Öistämö [the head of Nokia's devices unit] 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.”
This is a very interesting move, and one that potentially backs-up Jay’s contention that 2008 will be the year of non-desktop Linux.
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