Microsoft is offering webOS developers free Windows Phone devices and dev tools.
Brandon Watson, Senior Director of Windows Phone 7 development at Microsoft made the offer in a twitter message on Friday. “Any Published WebOS Devs: We’ll give you what you need to be successful on #WindowsPhone, incl.free phones, dev tools, and training, etc.,” said Watson. The offer comes hot on the heels of HP announcing its plans to discontinue its TouchPad and pre phones and half all further webOS device development.
Watson’s Windows Phone evangelism is well documented. He recently bet $1,000 on Windows Phone 7 with the author of popular comic strip Dilbert. Watson offered Scott Adams the chance to try Windows Phone 7. If Adams didn’t like it then Watson promised to donate $1,000 do a charity of Adams’ choice. Watson has also previously offered Windows Phone devices to notorious iPhone hacker Geohot and the original Windows Phone 7 jail breaking team ChevronWP7.
Watson is experimenting with a number of different ways to reach out to developers and place a human face on Microsoft’s Windows Phone efforts. He shared his personal cell phone number over Twitter in May and requested that Windows Phone developers call him to discuss any development questions. Microsoft is also trying to woo iPhone developers to Windows Phone 7. The company recently released a new Windows Phone API mapping tool to make it easier for iPhone developers to port their applications across. Along with the tools, Microsoft is also helping with marketing. The company is offering free merchandizing slots to Windows Phone developers. The slots will allow Windows Phone developers to get their application featured on Microsoft’s marketplace.
Microsoft is close to the 30,000 mark for its Windows Phone Marketplace. The company has attracted thousands of developers and will likely attract many more once Nokia starts to offer Windows Phone 7.5 devices later this year. For Watson it’s a simple approach. “Someone asked me why,” he said over Twitter. “Because every developer matters, that’s why.”