A few days after I pointed out that there is a QT4 port for Nokia’s Maemo platform, Nokia has announced that it is buying Trolltech the makers of the QT framework.
The 150 million dollar buyout has taken some by surprise as Nokia’s Maemo platform itself is closely aligned with the QT alternative GTK+ and Gnome. It appears however that QT can play a role in the evolution of the Symbian platform on which Nokia has built most of its phones. There is some speculation that Nokia could use QT as a migration path for developers from Symbian to a Linux based phone operating system. There is also speculation that buying Trolltech could also fit with a strategy to develop and release an open phone OS to compete with Google led Open Handset Alliance (OHA) and its Android platform.
Perhaps the acquisition will have no effect on the future of the Maemo platform. Then again, perhaps the QT4 for Maemo project will become a key technology for the N810 and N800 intenet tablets.
Regardless of the future implications of the acquisition, I am happy to see investment in open source and companies using and promoting open source. Nokia has the ability to put financial resources to work for QT and open source in general in order to make it more successful. They have shown that they understand open source with the Maemo platform and I’m very intrigued to see what the future holds.