This was a great read. Thank you for this article!

I found this analysis making some very realistic predictions. Also, being a Maemo fan, I'm naturally entertained by your thoughts about MeeGo's survival. :)

--Chris, 13-Feb-2011


Thanks! This was a sharp and non-provocated analysis, clearly giving some topics to follow. Let's wathch how they will deal with Qt!

--prasanen, 13-Feb-2011


I think that you are wrong about the capability for the job market to absorb the few 100's of developers that will leave or be fired. It is also likely that competitors will start offices in or near Finland (Sweden, Estonia or Russia are likely), and this way benefit from the pool of qualified people available in the Finnish market. But overall the Finnish market for software development was already overheating, so a few 100's of people looking for jobs will make the market get back to normal (say like 2007-2008). Nokia is big, but their presence in Finland has been dwindling for many years. Many of the people employed in Finland were from other countries and will likely return to those countries.

About people staying with Nokia because of the money: surely you must never have worked there. The salary strategy by Nokia has always been "top people at average salaries" :) It is true that people who chose to stay long term employed are not the best entrepreneurs, but then again Finland is not the right place to find a large pool of entrepreneurs in the first place :)

--Vasco Duarte, 13-Feb-2011


I doubt they will sell Qt. If they sold it to Google or HP, it would mean that Google or webos becomes the de facto upgrade path for symbian users and developers. Thus they will keep it, the question being if it's going to return to it's status prior to nokia, or if it's going to die a slow death by fork and braindrain.

--Qt fan, 13-Feb-2011


@Vasco: I worked for Nokia for 8 years. Never had an issue with my salary.

As for the impact, I really, really do hope you're right. I just fear you're not.

--JanneJalkanen, 13-Feb-2011


@Qt fan: Isn't Android already the de-facto upgrade path for Symbian developers and users?

--JanneJalkanen, 13-Feb-2011


@Vasco, we are talking about few thousand developers (taking all the subcontractors in account). And another few thousand project managers, HR, sales etc. The developers will have a tough time selling themselves, but there is always jobs truly skilful people. Sure, some will have relocate, be unemployed for a while, accept a job with smaller salary, but they will survive. The other group (pm's, middle managers, etc) will have much tougher time. This country simply doesn't need that many power point experts. Furthermore, there are enough people who have been burned be dealings with complacent Nokia managers that for many jobs having "Nokia" and "Manager" in the same CV is a big no-no.

--escapingfinland, 13-Feb-2011


the issue is, Nokia has absolutely drained their brand loyalty in past years. Even sony ericsson who abandoned their flagship phone (uiq3/p1i) in a single day, declining to update it even while they own the source has larger brand value and trust. I keep seeing suits thinking somehow, that N8 user who must be extremely pissed off will go and buy a windows powered n9 when it ships. No, he will sell N8 for dirt cheap and move to android from another established brand or join apple cult to never leave again. N8 purchasers have no money problem and once they are gone, they are gone forever.

--Ilgaz, 14-Feb-2011


Microsoft hates everything GPL? I wouldn't say so. They've even contributed lots of code for Linux kernel. And yes, I know it's just to get Linux to work on their platforms, but still. Linux still hasn't gotten anywhere near Windows on the desktop and on the server side there's nothing like AD etc. So I really don't even see any reason for them to even care that much about Linux.

Otherwise a good summary.

--AnonymousCoward, 14-Feb-2011


Your right about Symbian, but do not forget that S60 made it a lot worse. I started Symbian programming when it was still Epoc, and Eikon, S80 and UIQ were easier to use than S60. For app developers, third party and internal, the UI API is very important at what drives programming ease of use.

I am having more of a problem with the idea that Qt will save Nokia in case the Microsoft deal fails. No commercial developer in his right mind will start to work on substantial Qt apps with the idea of making money on MeeGo. There is no volume. Period. For Symbian the reasoning is: is the investment worthwhile given that Symbian is dead. What other opportunities are out there? iOS, Android, Bada? Will my return be bigger there?

If the deal falls through in the future, and Nokia is going to create a new platform, and it becomes popular, then developers will use that platform, whether it is Qt or someting else. Nokia is going to have a big problem getting developers back on board after the backstabbing last friday. See, Qt should have been on top of WP7, because that portability was what kept developers and what attracted new ones. Now that promise is broken. I understand that, but doing business with an unreliable partner again and again? Lets wait even longer before committng.

--Sander van der Wal, 15-Feb-2011


The Symbian market share has been going down but unit sales up. In 2008 73M, 2009 80M, 2010 100M... in 2011 ? In terms of financial figures the Symbian brings most money to Nokia. Given that, difficult to understand the decision to start ramp down for Symbian. With QT, Symbian would lure developers - I've seen people with no/limited SW experience creating applications and saying that this is cool and easy.

And the Nokia windows device is again promise - no one knows when it will be available. If Nokia would have introduced real Windows phone last Friday, the share price might have increased instead of reaching all time lowest price. Overall the communication last friday was a failure from Nokia which undermined the smartphone sales for 2011/2012. Just telling that NOkia opens another front with Windows but at the same time continues strongly with QT story for Symbian and Meego, might have been better approach.

Now Nokia is taking huge risk on behalf of MS.

--Wee, 16-Feb-2011


The original post is great, and I agree with it in general. However I think that now, less than a week from the big news we are quite negative. I mean last year when everyone was waiting delayed S3 devices, a lot of bloggers etc. in Finland and outside were bashing Nokia and Symbian. A lot of talk about how Nokia should leave Symbian and take Android etc. Now, when Symbian is going away many people are missing Symbian and think that Nokia is going for worse, when it is just doing the big change that is needed.

I was working for Elisa (mobile) in Finland when the company was streamlined and more than 1.500 were put out (in a few sets). The feelings were negative, but finally all the people I know personally found good jobs and probably they think today their lifes are much better. I decided to leave Elisa also in 2004 but today as a company they are doing great, Elisa leading the Finnish market, brand is very strong, etc. Change is not so bad, even if the process hurts. I suppose the uncertainty and loss of motivation, both taking several months or even years, are the worst parts.

--Happy C7 user, 16-Feb-2011


I think it is a nonsense decision to ditch Symbian and MeeGo completely. Samsung is running Android, WP7, Bada + some others with no problems. They can control what they're doing.

--MeeWent, 16-Feb-2011


Guys, thanks for good commentary. It's wonderful to see that my readers have good, solid, well-thought opinions (as opposed to foam-mouthed ranting like I've seen elsewhere).

Thank you :-)

--JanneJalkanen, 16-Feb-2011


As I see it:

It is very important now to get Qt going and ythirdparty to continue write apps for QtMobility/Quick.

This way wee can be more sure about Nokia:s "planB" as you describe above :-)

But atm. it seems to many developers are sceptical. Soo its time for us too change this right now.

Everybody should take a look at planetqt.org daily. I am sure we will see alot of progress in Qt. I hope the Qt trolls fights back hard now and doesnt give up even if there is to many sceptical people atm...

I like Qt(Quick) and Meego soo I want it to continue :-)

/mikecomputing

--AnonymousCoward, 18-Feb-2011


Hi Janne,

You should update your "about Janne" page (http://www.ecyrd.com/ButtUgly/wiki/JanneJalkanen) as you have not been a Program Manager for the last 9 months :)

/mike

--mike bradshaw, 18-Feb-2011


1. Microsoft doesn't hate linux 2. Symbian is(was?) not designed for a "touch" experience. The same reason why MS practically created the Windows Phone 7 rather than redesign Windows Mobile. 3. It is in Oracle's interest to sell more Android phones. (provided they win the IP battle) So, Google taking Qt is unlikely. 4. HP has webOS. If that fires, Qt can be ported there. After all, webOS is pretty much Linux Mobile. (IMHO, probably Nokia should have gone with webOS) 5. The future of Meego is bleak, which ever way you look. As intel's clout in mobile/tablet is not the same as in comps. 6. Feature phones may be bringing in cash now. But, the rapid growth of smartphones means those numbers will not see much growth. 7. MS may not be the best match, but it gives Nokia a fighting chance. Rather than being gobbled up by Redmond, this will more likely be similar to MS/Intel partnership. 8. The economic cataclysm being envisaged is impossible.

So here is to Winokia.

(sorry for the "numbering". Just habit)

-- Phil, 18-Feb-2011


D'oh! Thanks Mike. Updated now.

--JanneJalkanen, 18-Feb-2011


One thing you've missed in your analysis is that if Nokia stop developing Qt, they trigger the FreeQt agreement (which then causes Qt to be released under a BSD-style licence). Probably something that they want to avoid.

--cibyr, 19-Feb-2011


Ah, cibyr, that's brilliant. I wasn't aware of this agreement. Thanks for letting me know.

That should guarantee the continuation of Qt - though it would still be a blow to the community (remember what happened during Netscape => Mozilla Foundation transition, it took a long time just to get organized and release something useful. Of course the NS codebase was a mess, but still.)

--JanneJalkanen, 20-Feb-2011


Of course this is only my personal view.

Nokia pushed opensource... but then sudenly realised they do not get revenues from it (what a suprise)... they will be blocked from good content.

When they blew it? Did they have a hint? Did they care? Who was in charge? What they possibly gain afther this?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2000/feb/01/efinance.internet2

--Jan Raikkala, 20-Feb-2011


Still Opensource Ecosystem wins this deal sooner that later. Nobody is paying for content for every gadget.

--Jan Raikkala, 20-Feb-2011


I am not disappointed by Nokia's this decision. Moreover I am excited about it. I take it as Nokia adding 1 more OS to its family after Symbian, Qt, and MeeGo. It would be interesting to see another OS (WP7) with Nokia and how it drives the competition in the market. Looking forward to it guys. :) Check this to see what other developers have to say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfWFvCJJaNs

--therohan, 01-Mar-2011



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