Finland Needs Trolls

How Trolltech Complements Nokia Internal and External Technology

Upon reflection, gossip-mongering, and even more reflection, the Nokia acquisition of Trolltech begins to make more sense.

Look Beyond Maemo

Maemo, the applications platform that runs on Nokia 770/N800 and family, bases its Hildon UI framework on GTK. the main open source rival to Trolltech Qt. These web pads and the software that drives them are a market experiment for Nokia, albeit a strategic experiment. They’ve evidently had as much internal impact with the Finnish mobile giant as they have outside, in particular they’ve

  • engendered (additional) rivalry among Nokia divisions focused on Linux (web tablets, Nokia networks) and those who build SymbianOS and legacy-based phone-ware (S40, S60 et al)
  • heightened internal perceptions of platform fragmentation and given urgency to calls for cross-platform compatibility (which Qt offers, crossing over embedded and desktop OSes)
  • highlighted the need within Nokia for more ubiquitous FOSS and Linux competence

Motorola Impact

Did Nokia take out a key Motorola mobile supplier to stymie their mobile competitor? Probably not. Just like the folks in Redmond, Nokia spends its time worrying about Apple and Google. It’s hard to argue with that sensibility: Tampere is better served by looking ahead, worrying about threats to come instead of troubled competitors, over whom they leapfrogged long ago.

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