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Nokia shutters Qt Brisbane office

Linux exit takes its toll

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Australian Qt developers are the latest to feel the bite of Nokia’s decline, with the Finnish company deciding to shutter the operation’s Brisbane outpost.

Qt is a cross-platform application and UI framework. Nokia acquired Qt developer Trolltech in 2008.

The decision became public via an employee’s post on the Qt mailing list, which identified teams working on Qt3D, QtDeclarative, QtMultimedia, QtSensors and QtSystems modules, “as well as the CI/QA team for Qt”.

The office is due to close on August 31. The Register has asked Nokia to identify the number of developers affected.

Last month, Ars Technica reported that Nokia’s Meltimi Linux-based feature phone and operating system project was also on the mortuary slab after yet-another a round of layoffs. However, at the time Nokia committed to “near term” Qt support. Its definition of “near term” appears now to have a horizon of less than a few weeks.

Although there have been no layoffs announced back in Finland, a response on the Qt list notes that “commit logs show that there’s almost no activities … recently” for modules that are the responsibility of head office.

The move cannot have been entirely unexpected, since Nokia has been moving quickly to cement the position of Windows Phone 7 under the stewardship of former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop.

The Australian office was considered a cornerstone of putting the Qt framework onto mobile platforms.

Developers will retain their status within the project and therefore may, if they choose, continue making community contributions to the project. The ongoing financial basis of Qt will depend on the efforts of Digia, which has managed Qt licensing since last year. ®

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