Digia buys Nokia's Qt business, will port it to iOS, Android, Windows 8

By Lee Kaelin on

Finnish software firm Digia Oyj announced earlier today that it's acquiring Nokia's Qt software business for an undisclosed sum with the intention of continuing its development whilst focusing on improving cross-platform support. It highlights Nokia's increased dependence on Microsoft's mobile OS, as it jettisons non-essential assets to help revive its failing business.

Nokia acquired the Qt open source development software when it bought Norwegian company Trolltech in 2008 for $153 million with the intention of using the toolset to create a unified development framework between Symbian and MeeGo. For three years, it formed an integral part of the company's strategy until announcing its partnership with Microsoft.

Application developers relying on Qt have become increasingly concerned about its long-term fate. The acquisition will place it in the hands of a platform-neutral firm and will not affect Qt5's upcoming release date. Digia plans to expand Qt and make the tools available for most major platforms including iOS, Android and Windows 8. As part of the deal, 125 employees working for Nokia (mostly in Oslo and Berlin) will move to Digia.

"We are looking forward to welcoming the Qt team to Digia. By adding this world-class organization to our existing team we plan to build the next generation leading cross-platform development environment," said Tommi Laitinen, Digia's senior vice president of international products.

He added that it's "a good time for everyone to revisit their perception of Qt. Digia's targeted R&D investments will bring back focus on Qt's desktop and embedded platform support, while widening the support for mobile operating systems."

"Digia's plans to acquire Qt mean that it can continue as a successful open source project and also offer continuing employment for many people in the community," said Sebastian Nyström, Nokia's head of strategy, while maintaining he was proud of the contribution his company has made to the open source framework during the course of its ownership.

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