Nokia has sold the Qt commercial licensing and services business to Digia, further distancing itself from the development framework. According to the terms of the deal - expected to be closed by the end of this month - Digia will gain "around 3,500 desktop and embedded customer companies from various industries"; Nokia has said it will continue to invest in Qt.
Qt's demise as Nokia's core strategy for smartphone development came as a surprise to existing developers. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop told us at MWC 2011 that the decision was primarily to keep the development message clear: if Nokia told coders to use both Qt and the Windows Phone toolkit, that would split the marketing budget and lead to confusion.
"Qt continues to be an important technology for Nokia and it is critical that Qt's growth and success can continue" Sebastian Nyström, Vice President, Head of MeeGo, Qt and Webkit at Nokia said of the Digia deal. "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."
In addition to the Qt business, Digia will also bring across nineteen staff from Nokia's technical consulting services department and global Qt Commercial sales and marketing teams.
Digia to acquire Qt commercial licensing business from Nokia
Digia to support broader use of Qt in consumer electronics, industry machines, and other embedded and desktop software solutions.
Helsinki, Finland 7.3.2011. Digia Plc. (DIG1V) has signed an agreement with Nokia to acquire the Qt commercial licensing and services business. Through the proposed acquisition, around 3500 desktop and embedded customer companies from various industries are targeted to be transferred to Digia. The transaction is expected to be closed by the end of March 2011. Nokia will continue to invest in future development of Qt for the benefit of all users, both Commercial and LGPL.
As a result, the commercial licensing and service operations business is to be run by Digia, with existing and new commercial customers, who will benefit from the continuity of development of desktop and embedded Qt functionality and new service models. Building on Digia's leading Qt expertise, this acquisition further accelerates Digia's direction towards international, product based business and significantly widens Digia's Qt customer base. To further strengthen its global presence, Digia will establish subsidiaries in USA and Norway as part of the transaction.
Global growth with Qt Commercial (Qt commercial licensing and services)
The use of Qt as an application and UI framework has been growing since Nokia's acquisition of Trolltech in 2008. Qt is actively used by around 3500 desktop and embedded customer companies which will be transferred to Digia upon closing. The commercial customers represent a broad range of industries, e.g. consumer electronics, finance, aviation, energy, defence and media. Qt usage has increased the need for solid commercial support and services executed with strong focus. Digia's additional investment in Qt Commercial licensing and services business on top of Nokia's significant Qt development work creates a solid foundation and additional boost for creating business solutions with Qt, and opportunity for customers to benefit from Digia services.
"Qt continues to be an important technology for Nokia and it is critical that Qt's growth and success can continue. 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. Digia has proven, in-depth Qt expertise, operational excellence and a keen interest in growing and improving the overall Qt community and so well positioned to expand the Qt Commercial licensing and services business," says Sebastian Nyström, Vice President, Head of MeeGo, Qt and Webkit at Nokia.
"We are excited to extend our Qt business to serve our new customers. Building on our in-depth Qt expertise and experience from demanding mission critical solutions, we will offer world-class commercial licensing and support services to Qt Commercial customers. We also look forward to driving further the evolution of Qt by bringing in new features and services," says Harri Paani, Senior Vice President from Digia.
Use of Qt in mission critical solutions reinforced – with proven experience
Digia has an ideal background for growing the Qt commercial licensing business and meeting the needs of current Qt commercial customers. Digia's unique position for Qt commercial business stems from the combination of long track-record in Qt projects since early 2000, creating and operating mission critical business solutions for several industries and commercial software licensing business models. In addition to avoiding open source license restrictions, many customers prefer a commercial relationship that provides professional, responsive support and services ensuring success in their mission critical business solutions.
Digia is a recognized Qt innovator
Digia is dedicated to continuing and growing the Qt commercial relationships and to contributing innovation to the overall Qt community. Digia has stood out in the market as a profitable growth company and recognized Qt innovator, bringing to life the latest Qt technologies in the forefront of the market. With hundreds of Qt experts, Digia is a leading provider of Qt solutions and services.
In addition to acquiring the business responsibility over Qt Commercial licensing and services, Digia also plans to employ 19 persons from Nokia's technical consulting services team and global Qt Commercial sales and marketing teams. That is targeted to ensuring that the customers will continue to deal with the people they already know.
Digia will invest in the development of Qt as a commercial framework. In particular the plan is to emphasize Qt in the desktop and embedded environments and to examine new support models and functionality requests. Digia will provide commercial customers with improvements in support and functionality for older platforms that were not on the Nokia development roadmap. The holders of a Qt commercial license will be informed about the details separately.
This acquisition will further accelerate Digia's direction towards international, product based business and significantly widens the customer base for Digia's Qt business. It also provides Digia's Enterprise Solution business a world-class offering that has strong synergy with Digia's Mobile Solution business and expertise.