I went to a Nokia/Microsoft Windows Phone meetup a few days ago and learned about this program…
If you want to add a Windows Phone to your toolkit, Nokia has a program in partnership with Microsoft thru Sept that will allow you to get a Lumia 800 for free and a 1 year App Hub membership. All you have to do is create a Windows Phone app and get it accepted in the App Hub. Rich Dunbar is the Nokia Developer Ambassador who oversees the program. He’s posted a How-To for the program here:
One thing that’s easy to overlook is that your app must have an Support page that has your name & some kind of contact info in order to get accepted into the App Hub.
I submitted my app (a mobile reader for my blog) last week and am still awaiting approval.
Even if you don’t plan to carry the phone, it’s nice to have has a testing tool if you’re interested in creating apps for Windows Phone.
EDIT: I forgot to mention that I asked who was eligible (U.S. vs. non-U.S.). This was Rich’s reply:
“The program is open to anyone but the app MUST be in the US marketplace at a minimum and have a reasonably broad appeal in that marketplace. For example, an app that helps Serbian citizens pay their parking fees via SMS won’t have broad appeal in the US marketplace and therefore wouldn’t qualify. But the developer could make any other app first that would qualify then submit their Serbian app afer that.”