Microsoft planning to release “many many thousands of” WP7 developer phones next month

Potential Developer handset We already knew Microsoft was planning to seed the developer market with purpose-build Windows Phone 7 devices, but it seems we have underestimated the scale.

Posting in Microsoft’s developer forums, Brandon Watson, Microsoft’s Windows phone developer evangelist, has said the company plans to release “many many thousands of phones” in July.

In his words:

In the mean time, we have many many thousands of phones which we are looking to get into developers’ hands so that we can harness the collective creativity, passion and desire to be amongst the first to publish apps to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.

In the post he goes on to say the devices will be specially made, and will not reflect release handsets in any way, and that developers should certainly not expect release quality devices, which will only become available after launch.

The developer phones going out next month, and through the summer, won’t be final build quality – they are meant for testing and readiness for the marketplace opening later this year.  Developer purchasable phones (ones you can buy, which are unlocked) probably won’t be available until after launch.  The OEMs and mobile operators don’t want final phone designs hitting the market ahead of launch.

Developers planning to get their hands on these devices need to show Microsoft that they are working on great applications, and should also try and contact Microsoft to apply for one.  Brandon did however say they were looking at the broad market of developers, from 2 man shops to major software houses, so it seems anyone with a great idea could potentially be in line.

Read the full post at Microsoft’s forums here.

Via MobilityDigest.com

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