"Why did IBM, HP, and SUN settle on GNOME as a "go-forward"
GUI/toolkit technology? Many KDE developers felt slighted and angry
over the decision, and it will no doubt continue to be hotly
debated. But it's important for everyone in the OSS community to
understand why this decision was made..."
"KDE is dependant upon the QT toolkit, which is owned by Troll
Tech of Norway. While Troll Tech has proven itself to be a fair and
upstanding member of the community, the fact remains that QT is
owned exclusively by Troll. Troll has the ultimate say over which
features are implemented in QT and when they are implemented.
Further, QT's licensing is still a thorn in the side of many; it is
only "free" if used to write "free" software, otherwise payment is
required. The GNOME project was initiated specifically to address
the closed licensing of QT."
"For this reason, it is completely understandable why commercial
houses like IBM, HP, and SUN would be hesitant to adopt the
technology. Why pay licensing fees to Troll when GTK/GNOME has no
licensing fees at all? And since GTK/GNOME is GPL'd, and thus open
to community development, the playing field for all companies is
leveled: IBM cannot add proprietary code to GNOME to get a leg up
on SUN, for example."