As you may have heard, Digia announced announced its plans to acquire the Qt technology and business from Nokia. I am excited about this news as it secures Qt’s future as the leading cross-platform development framework. The planned acquisition would also bring over a part of the Qt team previously at Nokia, who together with the Digia Qt R&D team, will be able to keep developing Qt to run on even more platforms and keep offering software developers everywhere the best and most powerful cross-platform application and UI framework.
Committed to both commercial and open-source licensing
Since we acquired the commercial licensing business of Qt a bit more than a year ago the Digia Qt R&D team has been hard at work developing and releasing not only new and updated features and functions for Qt Commercial customers, but also working together with the Qt Project building and releasing both the commercial and LGPL releases, contributing documentation, bug fixes and improvements mainly to the desktop and embedded platforms. Our focus has been to improve Qt on desktop and embedded platforms, as well as adding support for RTOSs extending Qt’s reach to mission-critical systems needing flexible yet reliable user interfaces.
With this acquisition Digia will have an increasing responsibility to the global Qt community, not just the commercial licensing business. We believe in the power of the Qt dual license. It is a great value for Qt that it can be used under an open source and commercial license, since customers have different needs and the licenses have different purposes. Digia wants to continue the good co-operation with different individual contributors and companies working together in the Qt Project. We also are committed to continuing the special relationship Qt has with the KDE community via the KDE Free Qt Foundation. We believe that this symbiosis is valuable for everyone involved.
I would also like to point out that, after the transaction closes, Digia would take over operating the Qt Project, including hosting the key systems via the Qt Project Foundation. We want to work with the entire Qt ecosystem through the Qt Project to make sure that Qt will continue to thrive both under commercial and open-source licenses.
Moving Forward with Qt 5
I look forward to welcoming the Qt people who will join Digia when the transaction closes, who have created and improved Qt throughout the years and who will, together with our existing R&D team and the Qt Project, continue to drive Qt forward. With Qt 5.0 just around the corner, we will all have busy times ahead to finalize the functionality. This is a major milestone for Qt and we hope to see it unleashing the power of Qt Quick that allows creation of awesome UIs much easier than ever before.
But we are not forgetting C++ by any means. Qt 5 will continue to fully support C++ and widgets making it easy to bring your current Qt 4 based applications to Qt 5. We also plan to have the widgets properly maintained and developed throughout the 5.x releases. Together with the Qt Project, we will make sure that Qt 5.0 is successfully released and will outline a migration path for customers and users looking to move to Qt 5.x.
Nokia has invested to bring Qt to where it is today and together with the community we want to recognize Nokia for its contribution. Continuing the development of Qt from here onwards is both a challenge and a privilege. It will be on the mutual shoulders of the community and Digia to secure the future of Qt as the best possible cross- platform development framework, a challenge we are ready to take on with your support.
During the past year, Digia has worked together with leading RTOS vendors to enable Qt on INTEGRITY, QNX and VxWorks. These are very important platforms in the real-time and embedded market and most of us have used systems based on these at some point – likely without a graphical UI. We plan to continue our work with these and keep Qt as the number one choice for building modern and interactive UIs for mission critical systems.
We also plan to continue our work with leading desktop and embedded platforms to make sure Qt is the technology that truly meets its promise of “Code Less – Create More – Deploy Everywhere”. With the planned acquisition announced today, I am extremely happy to say that we will begin to explore how to introduce support for other mobile targets, Android and iOS, as fully supported platforms for Qt applications. I am sure many of you will be happy with that news! Looking at the results of this year’s and last year’s customer survey as well two years down the line, it is very evident that support for these tablet and mobile devices is needed for Qt to truly meet the promise of “Deploy Everywhere.”
Digia Vows to Continue Qt’s Vision
We believe that Qt is by far the greatest development framework out there, with an enormous potential to dominate the software development world with solid, forward-looking and easy-to-use libraries and tools on all major platforms. We plan to continue the work originally set forth by Trolltech over 15 years ago to develop a framework that allows to write code once and deploy it everywhere – by adding support to Android, iOS and extending support for embedded platforms, we have a possibility to target hundreds of millions of new products. We vow to carry on improving Qt so that both our customers and the open-source users can rely on Digia’s continued investment to provide a development framework that will make their projects successful.
Please remember that the plans arejust announced today. It will still take some time before we and Nokia will be able to close the deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions. After that we will be able to move full steam ahead on this. Meanwhile, we will not be sitting and waiting. We will work just as before to finalize Qt 5.0 together with the Qt community – and naturally planning on the things we aim to do together after the transaction is completed. We have now started to contact the key contributors and stakeholders of the Qt and KDE communities, and are looking forward to discussing the future together with them, as well as with the new Qt talents joining Digia.
We will keep you posted as things move forward. We also look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.
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