Yesterday, I got my new device via Fedex, thanks to the kindness and diligence of Chris Koenig, MS Developer Evangelist!
I’ve been trying to get the attention of someone in the Mothership to beg and plead for a gratis WP7 device if one could be made available, since my finance department has thus far utterly denied the possibility of obtaining one through any commercial means. I’ve contacted (or made blind stabs at contacting) various folks I’ve run into or heard from at Microsoft to this purpose, only to find success eluding me. I had given up for a couple of months but resumed my importuning back last month. Here the tide turned. I found Chris and his email and shot off a desperate plea, including the magic mantra: “Help me, Obi-Chris Koenigy, you’re my only hope!” Of course I hoped my geek-cred would be proven by this invocation, but feared it wouldn’t be enough. Almost immediately I got an out-of-office notification that he’d be gone for a week. Oh, well. So much for that attempt, I thought. He’ll never see my email amongst a week’s worth of backlog. Then I was pleasantly surprised to get a response right away, and he said he would do what he could to help.
Well, this went variously trying different avenues until Chris wrote me and said that he was coming back from MIX2011 with four devices, and oh, by the way, would I still like one? Of course, I responded :Yes!
Yesterday, that device arrived: a Dell Venue Pro. It is gorgeous!