Update on Qt

Judging by the sheer volume of comments on Daniel’s post on Saturday you are all feeling like we are. Not the finest time in the history of Qt for sure, but also not the death of Qt that some of you are predicting either.

I was unable to continue to reply to all the comments on Saturday as I needed to get down to Mobile World Congress and to learn more about what was happening. Over the past 24 hours we have had an internal Nokia briefing, attended the Stephen Elop press conference, and attended App Planet, including the Nokia Developer Day keynotes which featured Rich Green (Nokia CTO) and Sebastian Nyström (VP of Application Services and Frameworks).

So after listening to these presentations and asking many of the questions you asked, here is what we can tell you:

Unequivocally, Qt is not dead. This morning we heard top Nokia executives like CTO Rich Green talk about Qt and the future. Qt will continue to live on through Symbian, MeeGo and the non-mobile Qt industries and platforms. At the Nokia Developer Day Mr. Green reiterated the following:

  • “We are still very much big fans” (of Qt)
  • “We will continue working on Qt, enhancing it.”
  • “In the Mobile Phone segments we are going to be examining Qt technologies.”
  • “Qt Quick is proving to be an incredibly productive platform—remarkably productive and powerful—and this will continue.”
  • Referring to Symbian: “We will update devices with later versions of Qt and Qt Quick.”

At the Nokia press conference our CEO, Stephen Elop, also addressed Symbian. We will continue to invest in the development of Symbian and continue to release devices based on Symbian. He reiterated that we will ship a large number of Symbian devices over the next couple years. 150 million is the current prediction, in addition to the millions of existing Qt-enabled phones already on the market.

We are also moving ahead with the Qt SDK 1.1. This will be the first time we ship Qt Quick in a combined package. We aim to have the beta out in the near future although we can’t say quite when yet.

In short, what we are hearing here is the same story that Daniel said on Saturday.

Some of you have expressed skepticism regarding what we have been saying. By shifting our future smartphone strategy away from Qt there is a strong sense of frustration from those who have invested in Qt for mobile development. We sympathize and we understand.

We don’t want to seem naïve or blind, however things aren’t as bad as some have made out either. It’s a little too early to “paint the wall black” as they say in Norwegian.

There is no magical statement we can make that proves things will be great, however we will try to maintain open communication as we progress. We will prove to you that Qt is still being developed, we will celebrate Qt victories (both within Nokia and in the ecosystem), and we encourage you to participate to help ensure we are able to keep Qt going in the right direction.

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