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Trolltech goes public

May 24, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

After 12 years in business, Trolltech on Tuesday filed an application for listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE). The OSE reports receiving the application the following day, and says Trolltech is now subject to disclosure of information requirements.

IPO rumors sprang up around Trolltech last Fall, when the company hired Juha Christensen and Tod Nielsen in September, and then added Benoit Schillings and Dr. Karsten Homann in October. The company said in January that it doubled its design wins, among other significant 2005 achievements.

Trolltech was founded in 1994 as Quasar Technologies, by Norwegian University of Science and Technology graduates Eirik Chambe-Eng and Haavard Nord. Its first product, released in 1995, was an object-oriented C++ GUI toolkit called Qt that offered the same API on both Windows and Unix. In 1997, Qt was chosen for use in KDE, a popular Linux desktop environment.

In 2000, Trolltech released Qt/Embedded, a version of Qt that added a lightweight windowing system, which could be used in place of X in embedded Linux devices. A “Qtopia” application stack for PDAs followed shortly thereafter.

In May of 2004, with Linux PDA sales in drastic decline, Trolltech created a version of Qtopia for mobile phones. Qtopia Phone Edition and Trolltech's more basic Qt/Embedded product have since been used in about 40 mobile phone designs, the company said in January.

Having filed its application, Trolltech is now beholden to disclosure-of-information requirements associated with OSE regulations. A Trolltech spokesperson confirmed that the company is “not saying much” at this point in its pre-offering quiet period. No details on share pricing or availability appear to be available, and no date has yet been set for an initial share offering.

The OSE website currently describes Trolltech as “a growing company that provides software development infrastructure, tools and platforms for cross-platform applications and embedded Linux mobile phones and computing devices.”

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