Knowing that half the battle to get consumers using your phones is to offer an ecosystem that competes with its rivals, Nokia has begun tempting developers with promises of a free a Nokia E7 and Windows Phone 7 handset if they sign-up to its Launchpad developer program.

Existing Launchpad members received an email from Nokia, which was subsequently forwarded to Slashgear, highlighting the Finnish mobile giant’s commitment to its developers and their applications.

By signing up for a free Launchpad account – which normally cost €300 a year – developers will get free admission to the next Nokia World/Nokia Developer Summit event, a free Nokia E7 device, a free Nokia Windows Phone 7 device (as soon as it becomes available) and free tech support for three months.

Developers will also continue to get access to SDK’s and API’s before anyone else, Ovi Store promotion and invites to regional events.

Nokia is capitalising on the buzz that surrounds its partnership with Microsoft, luring developers to the platform with incentives including free handsets and tickets to major events. Nokia is looking to merge its Ovi Store into Windows Phone 7 and will need the support of third-party app developers to ensure its marketplace is a success.

It also provides support for its Symbian operating system whilst it prepares its Windows Phone 7 smartphones. It’s a clever move on Nokia’s part, we remain excited about the prospects resulting from the Nokia/Microsoft deal.

18 February 2011

Dear Launchpad member,

In light of the strategy announcement made by Nokia and Microsoft last week, we are writing to you today to assure you that our commitment to you and your work to develop innovative apps for Nokia devices remains as strong as ever.

We understand that you have a lot of questions, and want to reassure you that we understand and we are here to listen to your feedback and provide you with information. We encourage you to visit Nokia Conversations where you can find a great deal of information regarding the news http://conversations.nokia.com and which can help to answer some initial questions.

We are very energized by recent developments, and believe the opportunities to develop for Nokia devices are as exciting and lucrative today as they have ever been. In addition to the opportunities coming soon with Nokia and WP7, we have several new benefits to share with you today, intended to help accelerate your app business to reach the 225 million app-hungry Nokia smartphone owners worldwide today.

Today, Qt developers can target more than 100 million Nokia devices for their apps and we have announced that we plan to sell an additional 150 million Symbian devices. Nokia will continue to provide free Qt trainings to help you learn how to make the most of this sophisticated cross-development platform. We’re enthusiastically meeting the demand, so please let us know whether you’d like a training set up in your area.

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.

We will also be extending our business development support to all Nokia developer and content program members who are currently developing apps for Nokia devices, and we will assist in publishing those apps in Nokia’s Ovi Store. We will continue to offer ideas and guidance for ways to fully promote your published apps so that you can reap the rewards of your hard work.

If you have any questions, or need any help from us in the days ahead, we want you to know that you can count on us to be there for you. We are truly excited about working with you to discover new opportunities that will lead to future successes.