Nokia said on Friday that it plans to ship Windows Phone branded devices to developers when they become available.
In an email to its developer community, spotted by SlashGear, Nokia promised a free E7 device for its launchpad mobile app developer members and a free Windows Phone Nokia device. Nokia has faced a backlash from angry developers over its decision to opt for Windows Phone on future company smartphones. The decision to offer free devices should sweeten the blow for disgruntled developers.
Nokia is currently engineering Windows Phone devices and is expected to wait for “Mango”, the next version of Windows Phone, until it unveils them later this year. “Mango”, the codename for what will likely be named Windows Phone 7.5, is currently in the early beta stages at Microsoft. The software giant revealed a number of new features earlier this week that will ship as part of its Windows Phone point release later this year. Nokia is reportedly waiting for multitasking, IE9 mobile and others before it releases its first Windows Phone device.
Nokia is also offering free tech support for three months on Nokia technologies. Here’s part of the official email:
To assist you with your development activities in the near-term, we will ship one free Nokia E7 device to all program members. Additionally, we will send to you one free Nokia WP7 device, as soon as it becomes available.
To accelerate your mobile app development, we will provide free tech support on all Nokia technologies for the next three months (up to 10 tickets). Equally, if you would like to take advantage of a free User Experience evaluation of one of your apps, please let us know and we will work with you to make those arrangements.
Microsoft and Nokia both announced a strategic partnership last week allowing Nokia to create a range of Windows Phone devices. The announcement came days after Nokia CEO Stephen Elop issued a 1,300 word internal memo to the company’s employees recently. Elop admitted throughout the memo that competitors are doing better and that Nokia’s current ecosystem is a “burning platform”.
Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, mentioned in recent press briefings that the company wants to bring a Windows Phone device to market by the end of 2011.