Nokia bolsters Maemo Linux OS with Qt port

Finnish handset vendor Nokia pressed on with development of its in house Linux platform on Friday, porting its cross platform application and user interface framework – Qt – to Maemo 5.

Nokia’s acquisition of Qt was at the heart of the Finnish firm’s purchase of Scandinavian mobile Linux developer Trolltech for $153m in January 2008. The move set the Finnish firm and third party developers up to build web applications that work across Nokia’s device portfolio, regardless of whether the device was running Symbian or Linux – a key part of the Ovi concept.

More recently, Nokia gave yet more indication that it is to reduce its reliance on Symbian with plans to introduce more high end devices on the Linux-based Maemo platform. The Nokia N900 follows up from Nokia’s previous generation of internet tablets such as the N810, and uses Maemo 5, which allows users to have dozens of application windows open and running simultaneously.

So the port of Qt to Maemo 5 means that developers can now use Qt to target the upcoming N900 and also ensures that applications can be easily ported to all Qt’s supported platforms including the next Maemo 6 release as well as Symbian and Windows Mobile – expanding the potential market for the Qt developer base.

The port itself will be based on Qt’s upcoming version 4.6 and is scheduled for final release in the first quarter of 2010.

Nokia’s CTO, Benoit Schillings, the driving force behind Qt, recently left the Finnish firm

“With this announcement and our upcoming port of Qt to the Symbian platform, we will quickly see Qt established as a leading framework for mobile application development. Developers will be able to use Qt as a framework to create powerful native applications and with Qt’s Webkit integration, it also provides them with a platform for creating web applications and services,” said Sebastian Nyström, vice president of application services and frameworks at Nokia. “Qt’s support for Maemo 5, Maemo 6, Symbian, as well as Windows Mobile makes Qt the most sensible choice for developers looking to target multiple devices and achieve the broadest reach with their innovations.”

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