Windows Phone 7 development handsets shipping in July to select developers

LG Panther / GW910 @ Microsoft France

Microsoft’s Brad Watson has confirmed today during TechED  what I repoted 2 days ago ; the Windows Phone 7 development handsets will finally be available in July to select developers who will have to contact Microsoft to request one (devices will be available to devs in 29 countries). Several prototype models will be available but all will have similar hardware specifications so you can probably expect to see the LG Panther / GW910, Asus Galaxy 6 and probably some other OEM (I don’t really think that we are going to see one from HTC).

UPDATE: Brad Watson has just posted more information :

I’m here at TechEd, and there’s a lot of talk about Windows Phone 7 devices and when they are going to be made available. One cool thing that the team is doing is handing out coupons to event attendees redeemable for general availability devices when they start shipping. We’re only handing out around 50 or so of these coupons, so it’s definitely not a broad distribution. It’s meant for people who are attending sessions or wearing Windows Phone hats around the show floor.

Developer devices are also on everyone’s lips. During the Windows Phone session yesterday, Terry Myerson (he runs engineering for Windows Phone 7) stated that we will start putting phones into select developers’ hands next month. That’s exciting stuff. Obviously we’re starting with the developers who have invested in the Silverlight and .NET platforms, registered at Windows Phone Marketplace and have begun building apps with the Windows Phones Developer Tools. Specifics of the programs are TBD, but we are going to want to get phones into large ISV hands, small team hands…you name it. We’re definitely not going to carpet bomb phones; we want to get maximum leverage for our phone distribution to developers.

Source: Brandon Watson