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Do not confuse companies with open source products for Open Source

January 29, 2008

Nokia today announced their intention to acquire Trolltech, the makers of Qt (a cross-platform application development toolchain, on which KDE is famously based) and Qtopia (a platform for creation of Linux-based devices). The deal will be going through provided at least 90% of the shareholders agree to it. We know that approximately 66.43% agreed so far.

In response to the news, Matt Asay writes:

"Interesting days. Will there be any open-source companies left to acquire in 2008? Who will drive forward the changes to the software world if the old world keeps devouring the new?"

The software world has already been changed, and it wasn't the companies that did it.  Companies, even those with strategies based around open source, exist to make money. In the process, such companies generate a lot of value for the community, and we should respect that. But we shouldn't be giving them more credit than they deserve. It was the open source movement that led to the creation of the open source companies—not the other way round.