A few days ago Digia announced that they have acquired the Qt licensing business from Nokia, staring the projected withdrawal from open source technologies which are no longer needed for Nokia’s operating business. The change is expected to come through before the end of March.

Qt Developers might have to get used to new logo describing the Qt platform
Qt Developers might have to get used a new logo describing the Qt platform

Neither Digia nor Nokia disclosed the financial details of the transaction, but it is confirmed that 3,500 existing customers will be transferred over to Digia. Nokia, however, committed to support them during 2011 in order to ensure a smooth transition. As a part of the transaction, Nokia’s Qt Sales and Marketing staff will move to Digia as well. In a damage-limitation mode, Nokia again emphasized that they are still committed to Qt development and will continue to drive it forward. The question do you believe those statements or not – is at your discretion. At the end of the day, Nokia only acquired Qt (including its licensing business) in 2008 from Trolltech. Professionally, I’m not sold on the idea that a company would commit resources for a technology they don’t use and have no financial interest.

In other news, it is reported that Microsoft is paying a cool $1 billion in order to help Nokia in development of future phones based on Windows Phone 7 OS. It also entails promotion (infamous MDF – Market Development Funds, Ed.) and not using Google Android as the second OS.

However, it should be noted that Nokia is paying per unit license fees for WP7 to Microsoft, as Microsoft’s management is under pressure from investors to increase both market share and profit of their troubled phone division. While this move certainly boosts market share, at the end of the day it still remains to be seen whether Microsoft can profit from it.