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Nokia buys Open Source Firm

Nokia struck gold with the acquisition of Norwegian Trolltech, a firm that specialises into the Qt, a multi-platform graphical user-interface framework that runs on Linux.

The world's biggest mobile phone manufacturer has offered Eur 104 million for the company, an offer which was backed by Trolltech's directors.

Trolltech's open source components (opens in new tab) are used to develop graphical user interfaces and they are at the centre of the KDE Linux project as well as Google Earth, Skype and Opera.

Trolltech is a member of the LiMo foundation, which aims at creating a Linux based software platform for mobile phones which some might view as a rival to Nokia's own S60 platform which is based on Symbian.

Nokia might be looking to corner Google who is pushing its Android platform as a potential contender for the lucrative mobile internet market.

With LiMo and Symbian on one side, Nokia is well prepared to take on the Search giant challenge.

Open source companies like Trolltech are starting to attract bigger firms who see them either as attractive targets - Sun Microsystems acquired MySQL only a few days ago - or as potential partners - Microsoft and Novell are pushing for interoperability between Linux and Windows.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.