Sometimes strange things happen to strange people – yours truly is very strange(and so is his girlfriend) – and we thus got a very strange call a few nights ago. The caller has authenticated himself as being from TrollTech, and has asked us to check our email accounts for an email interview about the future of Nokia’s operating systems.
What will happen to TrollTech
Trolltech will continue to operate as it has been operating. It will be an independent division inside Nokia. Nokia has stated publicly (and to us) that they fully intend to keep Trolltech’s business running. Certainly parts of the Qt/Qtopia ecosystem would not survive if Nokia were to interfere. Nokia seems to be aware of this and keen to keep the ecosystem going.
I see the purchase as a way to prevent someone else from “stealing”
their supplier, like they just did to Motorola
What will happen to apps using the S60 API once Nokia switches to QT as the main phone API…will the S60 API be phased out?
No. It has to remain for compatibility with existing apps. No doubt Qt will be using chunks of it though. Future devices may not use Symbian/S60 and it’s conceivable that Qt is the only API available on those devices (similar to how GTK is the only API available on the Nokia internet tablets today).
Nokia doesn’t believe in throwing away good tech to make way for new stuff. They still sell S30 devices and S40 is still an actively maintained platform. Qt is not a replacement for S60, it’s a way for Nokia (and others) to write one app that runs on S40/S60/ Linux/Desktop/Next Gen. It’s similar to what Java promised though I’d argue that Java failed (witness the extreme fragmentation of the J2ME market).
So you say that it is as it is for now, but not forever…aka that the S60 API could be phased out someday?
I’d be really surprised if some next gen system that hasn’t even been made yet will totally replace something like Symbian/S60 in less than 5 years. Sure hardware advances quickly but older, slower hardware is always cheaper and older software is always faster. S60 hasn’t managed to replace S40 yet and it’s been out for years now.
For a new, high-end device, you can’t really have the old system. Imagine the iPhone experience from S60… just not going to happen.
So certainly high end stuff will move onto whatever next-gen system they’re doing but the mid/low range will take years.
If there’s a large library of software built on Symbian/S60 that Nokia wants to see running on their next-gen system they’ll just build some compatibility VM or whatever, like Cobalt/ALP have for the Garnet API.
Keep in mind too that Qt on S60 hasn’t even been started yet. It’ll be a year or two before you’ll even see Nokia handsets with Qt on them.
After that, he apparently deleted the email account that he used – I can no longer reach him… . anyways, I thank him for the news – it’s always great to hear from insiders!
P.S. This blog is hosted in Austria – a country with intact press freedom for tech journalists. All attempts to get he sources identity are futile!