In the last week, Nokia and Digia announced some breaking news: Digia acquires Qt from Nokia. In this article, I’ll cover what the pros and cons about this acquisition are and what that means for V-Play.
The announcement did not come unexpected, as Nokia already showed interest in finding a new maintainer of Qt for a while. Their strategy, with betting solely on Windows Phone for their smarthpones, did not match Qt’s approach of develop once, deploy everywhere, and so they already gave the commercial licensing away to Digia in March 2012. The latest news about shutting down the new Qt-based smartphone platform Meltemi further proved this strategy.
So what does this announcement mean for Qt developers and Qt-based software, including V-Play?
Actually, this is really good news, because of the following reasons:
Continued Development and Support of Qt
Digia is the biggest contributor of Qt (besides Nokia at the moment), and thus has the most experience in Qt development. They already showed earlier interest in Qt by taking over the commercial license management. In their announcement, they claim to transfer most of the Qt R&D team with a maximum of 125 people that keep working towards the Qt5 release. So by keeping this team, the development speed can stay high and effects for the acquisition are minimized. The development is thus guaranteed to continue – really good news for the approximately 450.000 existing Qt developers.
Active Support and Development for iOS & Android
The best part of the announcement regarding V-Play, is the commitment to fully support Qt on iOS and Android! Nokia did not have any interest in actively supporting these platforms, as they were competing platforms. Digia, on the other hand, is highly incentivized because of the market share of these platforms. This has the positive effect, that we have an official support partner for our engine and the platform-specific Qt and Android parts. Furthermore, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will be supported officially by Qt.
Continued Dual License
Another great news is, that Digia will keep the dual license model of Qt: As a developer, you can choose between the free LGPL version or the commercial version. So depending on your needs, you can choose the best matching license. This offers the maximum flexibility, in contrast to other libraries like Mono for Android & iOS where you only have the commercial option.
So to sum it up, this announcement really only has positive effects for Qt developers and for V-Play! We are looking forward to the transition, as the future of Qt looks more promising than ever before, and we are happy to be on the front for cross-platform game development with Qt. The great thing is, you can use V-Play to bring your Qt-based games to iOS & Android already today, and enjoy the benefits of our work in supporting these platforms.
Digia Announcement of Qt acquisition: http://www.digia.com/en/Home/Company/News/Digia-to-acquire-Qt-from-Nokia/
Qt Blog post about the acquisition: http://blog.qt.nokia.com/2012/08/09/digia-extends-its-commitment-to-qt-with-plans-to-acquire-full-qt-software-technology-and-business-from-nokia/