Nokia shuts down free developer programs, rolls out premium version

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Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is shuttering its free Nokia Developer Launchpad Program and invitation-only Developer Pro Program, steering partners to a new premium effort priced at $99 per year.

"Nokia is announcing that we are in the process of refreshing our developer programs to focus more tightly on our core platforms, [Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT)] Windows Phone and Series 40," Nokia said. "As a result, we are not currently accepting new applications for Nokia Developer Launchpad and Nokia Developer Pro programs… [Launchpad] applications which have been submitted but not yet processed will not be processed."

Launchpad members entitled to Nokia developer devices can submit requests through Nov. 30. Members are also awarded two tech support cases; Nokia will make those available through Apr. 30, 2013.

In response to an FAQ query asking whether Nokia plans to replace the two programs, the handset maker states "While we can't comment on unannounced programs, our commitment to our developer community remains strong. You can expect to see new program offerings in the near future that will be of even more value to our developers than the current programs." Nokia adds that in the absence of the Developer Pro effort, its local Developer Relations representatives will continue to seek out qualifying developers and work with them.

For now, Nokia recommends that developers join its Premium Developer Program, announced late last month during the Microsoft Build 2012 event. Promising up to $1500 worth of benefits and services, the program includes a one-year membership to Microsoft's Windows Phone Dev Center, a free license to the Telerik RadControls UI suite, access to Buddy.com Cloud APIs and a pair of Nokia Tech Support tickets. Additional support tickets may be purchased for $99 each.

Nokia is introducing a series of Lumia-branded smartphones running Microsoft's new Windows Phone 8, unveiled late last month. Nokia first embraced Windows Phone as its primary smartphone OS in early 2011.

For more:
- read this TechWeekEurope article

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