Nokia has confirmed that developers in its Launchpad project will be automatically receiving one of the 25,000 free Windows Phone 7 handsets the company has promised to coders in recent weeks, following up on the original free phone offer back in February. Launchpad members – who also got a free E7 – join Nokia Developer Champions in receiving either a Lumia 800 or Lumia 710, as well as a rebate on Microsoft’s App Hub membership fee.
“If you received a Nokia E7 back in February when we announced our new smartphone strategy, you’ll automatically receive a Windows Phone device. If you are currently a Nokia Developer Champion or a Nokia Launchpad member, you are already eligible, and you will soon receive an e-mail to explain how to get your new Nokia Windows Phone” Nokia
App Hub membership – which is required if developers want to distribute their apps through the Windows Phone Marketplace – usually costs $99 per year, but active Nokia developers will receive emails this month telling them how they can get in on the action free. There’s also the chance of being picked for Nokia’s App Highlights app, preloaded on the company’s Windows Phone devices, which flags up a small selection of hand-picked software and is likely to provide a considerable boost to any developer lucky enough to be included.
If you’re not a developer currently on Nokia’s radar, the company suggests getting into one of the upcoming outreach events – you can keep track of them at the company’s developer site – where you might well walk away with a free phone. More on the Nokia Lumia 800 in our full review.