Qt, the framework that powers the KDE desktop, is announcing support for ads in client-side applications. This means that application developers will now be able to serve ads in traditional desktop applications like KdenLive. Windows users have been dealing with this in Metro UI apps since Windows 8 and it’s something that’s never gone over well on the desktop.
While it’s doubtful you’ll see ads in KDE’s core applications, it would be possible for distributions that wish to further monetize their work to fork these applications, placing ads in them. From the press release:
Our focus is to fill an existing gap in the Qt framework for developers using Qt for mobile and desktop applications. We want to enable the easy integration of advertising. Our offering aims to disrupt the IoT industry, enabling new business models and business cases that before were not possible. We enable Qt users to insert advertising as a native component to complex user interfaces.
One notable cross-platform Qt application that comes to mind is Calibre, an eBook manager that works on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Calibre already brings in a considerable amount of money through donations. In fact, according to Calibre's Kovid Goyal, it is enough to make a very comfortable living, working on the project full-time. Should he decide to further monetize the platform, there are now tools available that make the process trivial. According to the documentation, the advertising plugin supports a variety of platforms. They are as follows:
- Windows 10
- Ubuntu 20.04
- Raspbian Buster
- Android 7.0
Blackberry, which recently shut down enablement services for Blackberry 7 and 10 devices, has made strong inroads in the auto-industry, where its QNX platform powers the infotainment systems of over 100 million vehicles on the road. So strong in fact that its betting the farm on continued growth in this sector. QNX, whom Blackberry acquired in 2010 for $200 million, uses Qt, meaning drivers could have a whole new set of distractions if targeted ads make their way to the platform. And why wouldn’t they? For most users, the infotainment system is just a gateway to connect your phone to Apple CarPlay of Android Auto. Why not a quick ad before you connect?
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