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Nokia sells off Qt development platform

Nokia N8 handsets

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 7 Mar 2011 at 14:23

Nokia is selling off the commercial side of its Qt development framework.

Used by applications such as Skype and Google Earth, Qt is a framework for creating user interfaces and applications, which Nokia was last year touting as a development platform for Symbian and MeeGo.

Now that Nokia has ditched the pair in favour of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, it's no surprise Qt is being spun off.

Qt has both a commercial and an open-source side. Nokia has sold off the commercial licensing half to software and services firm Digia, and claims it will keep supporting the development side.

"Qt continues to be an important technology for Nokia and it is critical that Qt's growth and success can continue," said Sebastian Nyström, head of MeeGo, Qt and Webkit at Nokia.

"While Nokia will continue to invest in developing Qt as a cross-platform framework for mobile, desktop and embedded segments, focusing on open-source development and expansion, we wanted a partner who can drive the commercial licensing and services business around Qt," he said.

Before the Microsoft deal - back when Nokia was saying it had no plans to move to Windows Phone 7 - Nokia's vice president of business smartphones, Ilari Nurmi, said Qt would be supported across the company's products, to make "it easier for developers to address our users".

However, Nyström said Nokia has been looking for a Qt buyer since 2010, after realising it wasn't a "core business" for the handset maker. Nokia picked up Qt when it bought its creators, Trolltech, in 2008.

The Qt deal will close by the end of the month, and see 19 staff move to Digia.

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