Nokia: What's Missing from this Picture?

One of the reasons why I find the whole Nokia saga so fascinating is that the reasoning behind what is clearly a move of huge importance for many groups is not being communicated at all convincingly. Last week I wrote about Nokia's curious...

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One of the reasons why I find the whole Nokia saga so fascinating is that the reasoning behind what is clearly a move of huge importance for many groups is not being communicated at all convincingly.

Last week I wrote about Nokia's curious decision to sell the commercial Qt business to Digia. Many other people reported this move, but it seems that Nokia is not very happy with some of them:

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.

It then goes on "to address the facts and the fiction in what some commentators are saying." These consist of five statements that it has seen, but which it says are "false". They are:

"Nokia sells Qt / offloads Qt / sells majority of Qt"

"Developers are moving from Qt to Digia"

"This will create a fork between the commercial and LGPL version"

"Nokia is breaking Qt up into pieces and trying to offload it"

"This divestment is occurring as a result of the Nokia Windows Phone smartphone strategy"

I don't think I'm guilty of any of those (am I?), although I did say the move "raises issues about how Digia's contributions will feed into the open source side."

But what strikes me is that these do not address what is, for me, the central question: why does Nokia need Qt in the long term – that is, beyond the short-term requirement to "harvest additional value" from the platform, as Nokia put it so charmingly? Until that question is answered, I remain pessimistic about the long-term effects of Nokia's moves on Qt and open source in general – however many refutations the company issues on other points.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca.

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