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Nokia Acquires Trolltech For $153 Million

In a move to beef up its cross platform offerings for mobile phones and desktop applications, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) announced Monday that it will acquire software platform and frameworks developer Trolltech for $153 million. Nokia said the Norwegian firm’s Qtopia software technology it will help in the spread of its Ovi Web portal. It also said the company software is used in several thousand applications including Skype, Google Earth, and Adobe Photoshop Elements.

“Trolltech’s deep understanding of open source software and its strong technology assets will enable both Nokia and others to innovate on our device platforms while reducing time-to-market,” said Kai Oistamo, Nokia’s executive VP of the firm’s devices unit, in a statement. He noted that the acquisition will help accelerate Nokia’s strategy of boosting growth for mobile devices and PCs and their integration with the Internet.

Trolltech’s Qtopia has been included in more than 10 million devices, ranging from handsets and media players to set-top boxes and video phones.

“This acquisition puts Nokia into a position to have a major stake in the Linux-based marketplace, an area it so far has had limited exposure,” said Jack E. Gold, research analyst at J. Gold Associates, in an e-mail. “We believe Nokia understands that Linux-based phones will be a major player in the marketplace particularly in the emerging markets (of) China, India and Eastern Europe.”

Gold added that the coming deployment of WiMax will spur the growth of low cost and easily-configurable devices, and the Trolltech acquisition could help Nokia’s presence in that market.

Nokia said it plans to continue licensing Trolltech technology both for commercial and open source usage.

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