I am a Nokia Developer Ambassador, and I have been asked in countless number of emails how to get a device to test apps on, how to get an account for Windows Phone Dev Center, how to get a free phone, and the list goes on...
I will try and answer all these questions (and then some) right here. My goal is to make this program as transparent as I can for everyone involved.
First and foremost, I need all of you to be signed up for Nokia's Premier Developer Rewards program DVLUP.com In case you are one of the few who do not have access yet, contact me directly at ext-Paras.Wadehra@nokia.com to request your access code. Once you sign up (or if you are already signed up), send me your DVLUP username (it is part of the URL that you go to when you log in to DVLUP.
Now I will answer the most requested question of all, How do I get my hands on a Windows Phone device? There are, infact, multiple ways you can get your hands on a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone device. You can actually get multiple devices if you play your cards right.
First is a Trade-Up program, available via DVLUP at http://www.dvlup.com/tradeup It works quite simply -> You first get the value of your existing old phone by entering its make/model on the website. If you like the price shown, you go and buy a brand new Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 device (any Lumia model, on any carrier). You print the pre-paid shipping label from the website and ship your old device with the receipt for your purchase and sit back and relax. In a few weeks, you will get your money in form of a Visa Gift Card ready for you to start shopping again, hopefully for accessories for your new device! Using this program, instead of paying the full price for your new phone, you basically pay only the difference between the value of your old phone and the new Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 device. And here's the kicker, you can actually make money for purchasing a new phone this way. Let's say you have an old phone that you want to trade-in and you find out it's valued at $250. Now if you buy a new Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 device with a new 2-year contract you can get them for as little as $0 depending on the promotion going on. So you just made $250 for buying a new phone - isn't that cool! Oh, and the old phone you trade-in can be any brand, any OS.
Second comes the Device Loaner program available via DVLUP at http://www.dvlup.com/loan This is specially targeted at developers requiring a physical device during development and testing. Once you are signed up for DVLUP, you can request a loaner device for testing. You can check-out a device for up to 2 weeks at a time, and the shipping is paid both-ways by Nokia, so you do not need to spend a penny out of your pocket.
Next up is the awesome DVLUP Rewards Program available at http://www.dvlup.com/rewards - this is what everything ties into. Once you become a member of DVLUP you earn points for doing things that you should normally be doing anyways - creating and updating apps! Once you accumulate enough points, you can get your hands on a brand new Nokia Lumia Windows Phone device for as little as 2500 points (that's only 3 apps under the current Pointstravaganza promotion going on until the end of this month). So let your fingers do the talking and create some awesome apps!
Last, but surely not the least, you can get a Brand New Nokia Lumia Windows Phone device from me just for creating an app. More details on eligibility for this will be in my next blog post.
Most of you would already have Windows Phone Developer accounts (that you got during the special $8 promotion after BUILD). For the unlucky few who did not get in on that deal, I have tokens to the Windows Phone Dev Center which let you register for the 1st year for free (a savings of $99). If you are a student, you get a free Windows Phone Dev Center account as part of DreamSpark. If you do not know about DreamSpark and would like to know more, just leave a comment and I will reply back. If you are a MSDN or Technet subscriber, you also get free Windows Phone Dev Center account as part of your subscription, so log-on today and use the code found in your online subscription center. You need to show me that you are working on an app and are (almost) ready to put it in the store before you get the token.