When Nokia announced it would be selling its Qt assets to Digia, a lot of people were concerned that Digia's ties to Microsoft would put the popular free software tools in danger.
In reality, the deal makes perfect sense, and Qt is now clear of its tenure with Nokia. So how did Qt and KDE do under Nokia's influence?
If Digia sounds familiar, it's because the company was already heavily involved in the Qt community. In 2011, not long after Nokia announced its intention to place its fate in the hands of Windows-based smartphones, Nokia sold the commercial Qt support business to Digia. Selling over the trademarks, copyrights, and other assets to Digia just completes a transition that started back in March of 2011.
At the time, Nokia's Sebastian Nyström laid out the reason for that sale, indicating that the commercial licenses sales of Qt "are not core business activities for Nokia, so since the introduction of the LGPL license for Qt in 2009 we have been actively working to grow the number of companies providing Qt services."
Ironically, Nyström also emphasized Nokia's "long-term commitment to Qt" in 2011. Long-term, in this case, must mean 17 months.
All of this shuffling around might make observers worry about KDE, the desktop environment that extensively uses the Qt libraries. But fortunately, when Trolltech was bought by Nokia in 2008, a licensing agreement was worked up with the KDE Free Qt Foundation that prevents any commercial holder of Qt from closing up development on Qt and thus mortally wounding KDE.
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