[Interest] Digia to acquire Qt from Nokia

Thiago Macieira thiago.macieira at intel.com
Mon Aug 13 16:14:02 CEST 2012

On segunda-feira, 13 de agosto de 2012 10.00.25, Atlant Schmidt wrote:
>   But the original owner of a proprietary software
>   product who then takes it "open sourced" seems to
>   invariable take a bath, flushing essentially all
>   of their investment in that product down the drain.
>   And this is what Nokia has just done; in the course
>   of just four years, they destroyed essentially all
>   of their investors' capital that was invested in
>   acquiring Trolltech.

I disagree with that.

You're completely neglecting the value that Nokia obtained from using Qt in 
Symbian and MeeGo, the productivity gains associated with that, the gains in 
the ecosystem (number of companies offering services, etc.), the gains in 
availability of competent engineers who know the technology, etc. 

Think about this: if you need a developer for a particular niche technology 
(say, COBOL), you're going to need to pay a much better salary for the 
expertise than for a developer with expertise in a much better-known 
technology (say, Java). Those have nothing to do with the value of the 
technology, but simple supply/demand laws.

What's more, you're also neglecting the fact that Nokia probably destroyed a 
lot more value by changing direction last year and this year, writing off huge 
chunks of investment it had done. Simply by deciding on two incompatible 
platforms like Symbian and WP7, as opposed to two compatible ones with MeeGo 
and Symbian, a lot of value was destroyed too.

So, in all, you *may* be right that giving a product under a freer licence 
lowers its monetary value -- it's intuitive. But even if you're right, this is 
not supported by the evidence available.

Thiago Macieira - thiago.macieira (AT) intel.com
  Software Architect - Intel Open Source Technology Center
     Intel Sweden AB - Registration Number: 556189-6027
     Knarrarnäsgatan 15, 164 40 Kista, Stockholm, Sweden
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