Qt and Digia, facts and fiction

The planned transaction between Nokia and Digia is an important one for both companies, which will have positive outcomes for Qt and the Qt community, including commercial customers and our employees.

It goes without saying that we firmly believe in the merits of this move, however it seems that both companies have had a hard time accurately communicating the contents of this transaction. We’ve come to this conclusion based on misinformation in some of the reporting.

You have likely read several people’s take on the news, and we have too. Though most have reported the news accurately, we have seen some misleading or incorrect information as well as some speculative comments that do not represent our intentions.

This being a blog for our thoughts and opinions, we thought it apt to address the facts and the fiction in what some commentators are saying.

Headline: “Nokia sells Qt / offloads Qt / sells majority of Qt”
False. Nokia will sell the commercial Qt business to Digia, giving them the right to sell Qt Commercial licenses and offer professional services and support to the Qt community.

The Qt commercial business is important, but it is not the majority of Qt. An estimated 400,000 developers across more than 70 industries use Qt. There are 3500 commercial customers. Some have one license, some have dozens of licenses, but commercial customers do not make up the majority of the Qt user base.

Nokia will continue to invest in the development of Qt, continues to hold the copyright and will continue to publish Qt under an open source license benefitting the whole community.

“Developers are moving from Qt to Digia”. True or False?
False: Some news websites have suggested 19 developers were moving from Qt to Digia, which was then re-reported by others. It is false. In addition, Digia already has hundreds of Qt certified developers, more than anyone else in the world.

19 employees from our commercial team are planned to move to Digia when the transaction closes, nine in Norway, ten in the US. Not a single developer among them. They are great people and we wish them well for a great and prosperous future with Digia.

“This will create a fork between the commercial and LGPL version” True or False?
Again, this is false. Nokia and Digia have started this collaboration together, and both will be ensuring their work benefits all of the Qt community, not just LGPL or commercial licensees.

Digia is already an established Nokia partner and we are confident that this new structure will benefit everyone. Commercial users get service and attention from a company with a core interest in the commercial Qt business, Nokia’s Qt partners and developers get a tighter focus on their core areas from Nokia.

Nokia and Digia have a shared interest in not fragmenting Qt, and an interest in growing the entire Qt ecosystem.

“Nokia is breaking Qt up into pieces and trying to offload it” True or False?
False. Since the announcement in February of Windows Phone as Nokia’s primary smartphone strategy, Nokia has provided several reassurances about its future intentions for Qt. Specifically to continue developing it, building it, improving it. Here is CTO Rich Green talking about this.

“This divestment is occurring as a result of the Nokia Windows Phone smartphone strategy” True or False?
False. We began the process of finding a partner to service Qt commercial customers in 2010. It made sense then to find a company with a core interest in commercial license sales to manage this and it still makes sense now.

So, that’s a few of the corrections we’ve spotted. Our thanks to all of you who joined the conversations on blogs, forums and news sites, correcting inaccuracies and offering your support and encouragement.

In case you are wondering who we think most accurately reported this news, here are a few of our picks; please let us know if you’ve seen others we should know about.

Business Computing World
All About Symbian

We’re excited about this new chapter for Qt and our community, and we're working hard to get the transaction closed by the end of March. Stay tuned for more news!

Sebastian Nyström
VP, head of MeeGo, Qt & WebKit

[UPDATE: Additional blog posts have been published on this topic.
Nokia and Digia working together | Comment from Digia ]

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