Microsoft is handing out Windows Phone Mango devices free of charge, but only to student developers that are building applications for the next version of Windows Phone.
Those interested need only to pitch their idea to the software giant, and share a prototype of their Windows Phone application, and they could be eligible to receive one of the developer phones that the Redmond company is offering.
Windows Phone Mango is the successor of Windows Phone 7, bringing to the table hundreds of new features according to Microsoft.
Commercial devices running Windows Phone Mango are expected as soon as the fall of this year, with the operating system having been released to manufacturing at the end of July 2011.
Microsoft has already shipped some 20 Windows Phone Mango devices to student developers, but another 30 continue to be available. Ben Lower
, senior product manager for Microsoft's Windows Phone revealed what student devs need to do in order to have a chance at getting a free Windows Phone Mango device:
“1. Make sure you’re registered for DreamSpark
2. Download and install Expression Studio Ultimate and the new Mango Windows Phone Developer Tools (available free as a member of DreamSpark).
3. Get the free Sketchflow Template for Windows Phone and create a Sketchflow mock-up of your app.
4. Post the Sketchflow mock-up somewhere online and tweet out the link using the hash tag #WPAppItUp.
5. We will review all prototypes and will contact the developers who submit the best ones and send them a special Mango developer device.”
Despite the fact that Windows Phone 7’s uptake was rather modest, the new platform is appealing to developers, with the number of applications on the Windows Phone Marketplace approaching 30,000.
Providing customers with a mature app ecosystem is one of the vital factors which can contribute to the success of a platform.
In approximately one month, Microsoft will start accepting Windows Phone Mango applications in the Marketplace.