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Nokia baits developers with free Windows Phones

Now that Nokia and Microsoft have tied the knot, the next trip is to energize Nokia's base of Symbian developers.

Samsung Focus
Pretty soon, this could be a Nokia phone. Josh Miller/CNET

Microsoft and Nokia may have spent much of Mobile World Congress trying to convince attendees of the meritsof their fresh, new partnership, but the harder step will perhaps be urging Nokia's loyal Symbian developers to shift alliances.

There's nothing like free stuff to help change one's mind. To that end, Nokia will be giving away one E7 smartphone and one Nokia-made Windows Phone to each developer in Launchpad, it's program for mobile app developers, according to information procured by SlashGear.

In addition, Nokia will waive its tech support charges for developers for the next three months. 

Developer support is one key to make Nokia's Microsoft pairing successful, especially as the two companies are poised to battle Canada's Blackberry maker RIM for market relevance behind Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms.

On the handset front, Nokia will also feel pressure from Sony Ericsson, as both brands will keep a hungry eye trained on the US smartphone market.