Slashgear managed to get their hands on a letter from Nokia to their developers (under Launchpad) that states Nokia is willing to give two handsets away for free, in an attempt to keep their community happy with the monumental change that is coming their way. The letter is quite to the point about the matter:
We are also excited to offer you one free admission to the next Nokia World/Nokia Developer Summit later this year. We will take care of the registration costs.
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.
Couple of things here to note: Although Qt/Symbian may seem "dead", Nokia is still planning on shipping 225 million handsets this year under their old system, according to Rich Greene, Nokia's CTO--who discussed the transition on Wednesday in Barcelona. Shipping nearly a quarter-billion phones is still a lot of market for developers, meaning they should not quit. Further, The Nokia World/Nokia Developer conference is held traditionally in the fall--for 2010 it was held in mid September, giving us a time-frame when we should begin to see prototype and developer handsets.
This all sounds about right to us: developer devices in the fall, big launch in early 2012, work on your dev community in the meantime. Nokia currently ships one million phones a day (once again, according to Rich Greene), meaning in the next year, Microsoft is going to get a huge punch in the arm in terms of mass production and availability when they tap into that system.
This partnership sounds better and better to us everyday.