At TechEd 2010, New Orleans, Brandon Watson revealed that Windows Phone 7 devices will go out to developers "next month", July, several months ahead of general availability during "holiday season". Although there isn't an exact number of the early Christmas presents Microsoft will hand out, it's claimed to be plentiful and genuine Windows Phone developers in any of 29 countries where Windows Marketplace for Mobile is available will be considered. Interested developers should reach out to Microsofties through any of WinP7 developer channels to register their interest. Microsoft will determine each request on a case-by-case basis.
The devices Microsoft are seeding to developers will range from a number of undisclosed OEMs but are all similarly specced. Although the devices (and presumably OS) won't be of retail quality, the devices will be free so you can't complain," notes Brandon.
Brandon also teased that the team also put a lot of focus on the packaging of these development kits which're standardized across devices and they're "very cool".