MeeGo, Qt and Nokia

As told by my colleague Esther on her blog, we recently made a work for the subject “Project Management” about Dawn Foster (Intel’s Community Manager for MeeGo), this has made us to be aware of the latest news on Meego, that have not been few…

Meego is a project created from the merger of two platforms Nokia’s Maemo (which was based on Debian Linux distribution and originally used GTK as its GUI and application framework) and Intel’s Moblin. In January 2008, Nokia acquired Trolltech, the developer of the Qt application framework, and started using Qt library as the default in Maemo.

The first big news regarding Meego was the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft to adopt Windows Phone 7 as Nokia’s primary smartphone platform, which made us wonder about the future of MeeGo and Qt. Shortly after we knew that Nokia was selling off its Qt software licensing and professional business.

What were the reasons for Nokia to make these decisions?

Nokia was losing significant market share against Android and iPhone and needed an operating system for its smartphones to keep up on the market. Symbian was not up to Android or iOS and Meego was taking too long to be ready, this has caused investors get impatient and Nokia has chosen to go for Windows 7. Is it a good choice for Nokia? We do not know by now …

How these choices affect a MeeGo and Qt?

The good news is that Intel has come out in defense of MeeGo and said that it has a future even after Nokia’s decision to use Microsoft’s software in smartphones, MeeGo will be used in tablets and mobile phones this year. In other work we made for “Project Management” we knew that GENIVI (an automotive alliance) has chosen MeeGo for its In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system. So it seems that Meego has enough support to go ahead …

Qt has a dual-license model, providing open LGPL and commercial license alternatives. Digia (the company that has accquired Qt professional business) will now be responsible for issuing all Qt Commercial software licenses and for providing dedicated services and support to licensees. We do not know how this may affect the future of Qt, but as published by Sebastian Nystrom (head of MeeGo in Nokia): “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.” Let’s hope so …

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