Nokia, the owner of Qt software and therefore the owner of Qt, has announced that the Qt framework will be released under LGPL in the upcoming 4.5 release.
The announcement is a huge change in the licensing policy regarding Qt: up until this change Qt could be used for Free Software development under the GPL – or for proprietary development under a proprietary license including a fee. This was totally ok for many software developers and projects and it was of course the main income source for Trolltech, the company behind Qt which was bought by Nokia.
It was, however, also a big reason why many developers didn’t choose it: some companies wanted to develop closed source without paying this licence free, and other Free Software projects argued that GPL is not free enough for their taste. These reasons are not valid any more, and with Nokia supporting Qt the question arises how this will influence the software world.
Of course the world won’t change it’s face over night, but Qt had always a strong support, and every company which decided to go cross platform at least had a closer look at Qt. Now, with the new license and also combined with the new IDE Qt there are even more reasons to choose Qt for cross platform software development. And since it is a powerful toolkit anyway it might also happen that more and more Windows developers choose Qt – which would make it easier to ask them t develop for Linux as well – and/or for KDE.