Microsoft spent a big chunk of MWC today telling everyone about Windows 8 and if you're the coding type, the news gets even better. If invited, you'll be expecting something nice in the mail to arrive from Redmond very shortly. It's sending out test PCs powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 that includes the beefy LTE, camera and sensor gear we played with in our hands-on. It's intended to give developers a head-start in building and refining Metro-style apps ahead of the operating system's big debut. You can check out the consumer preview of what was shown today here and if you'd like to know more, head on past the break for a sprinkling of PR.

Update: It's not just Qualcomm giving away ARM silicon for free, looks like NVIDIA will be distributing Windows 8 machines powered by its Tegra 3 SoC too. PR's after the break.
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Qualcomm and Microsoft to Provide Developers with Snapdragon-Based Windows on ARM Test PCs

- Companies Provide Systems for Developers to Create Windows Metro Style Apps on Snapdragon-Powered Test PCs -

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its Snapdragon™ processor will be joining Microsoft Corp.'s Windows on ARM developer seeding program. Qualcomm is working with Microsoft to provide test PCs to select developers in order to test and optimize apps for forthcoming Snapdragon-powered Windows on ARM PCs and tablets. This invitation-only program will combine a pre-release version of Windows on ARM with next-generation, high performance Snapdragon S4 test PCs. These test PCs are not representative of commercial form factors or the final Windows on ARM experience; they are designed to give developers early access to building and testing Windows Metro style apps on Qualcomm's latest technology.

The Windows on ARM developer seeding program will help ensure that Windows Metro style apps available in the Windows Store work great on all Windows 8-based PCs, including those with Qualcomm's ARM-compliant Snapdragon processors.

"Microsoft's development tools and the Qualcomm Snapdragon test PCs will enable developers to build and test Metro style apps for Windows on ARM PCs," said Stefan Kinnestrand, director of business planning, Windows Division, Microsoft. "Based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor, these systems will equip developers to create Metro style apps and offer a rich set of hardware peripherals that plug in and help enable seamless user experiences on the Windows on ARM platform."

Qualcomm, with Microsoft, is among those leading the shift to anytime, anywhere connectivity. The Snapdragon mobile processor will offer a combination of processing performance, rich multimedia, GPS, high-performance graphics, wireless connectivity and power efficiency with Windows on ARM.

"Qualcomm is committed to the Windows on ARM ecosystem and knows that enabling developers is a crucial factor for its success," said Luis Pineda, senior vice president of product management, computing and consumer products at Qualcomm. "We are now providing Snapdragon S4 test PCs with built-in 4G LTE, activated in some regions, to software application developers."

Qualcomm's participation in the Windows on ARM developer seeding program provides select developers with the latest generation Snapdragon S4 test PCs running a pre-release version of Windows on ARM. These test PCs contain Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor with second-generation high performance, power efficient CPU, hardware accelerated Adreno® graphics, full multimedia, GPS, sensors, and peripherals that will enable development and test of next-generation Windows Metro style apps for the coming wave of Windows on ARM PCs.

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Microsoft to Seed Windows 8 Developers, Device Makers with Test PCs
Powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 3 Mobile Processor


BARCELONA, Spain-Feb. 29, 2012-NVIDIA confirmed today that it is working with Microsoft on a program to distribute Windows 8 test PCs to software developers and device manufacturers powered by the Tegra®3 quad-core mobile processor with 4-Plus-1™ architecture.

This seeding program enables these parties to create a rich ecosystem of apps and devices for Windows 8 on ARM-based processors.

"NVIDIA has a long record of supporting software developers working on the cutting edge of innovation," said Tony Tamasi, senior vice president of content and technology at NVIDIA. "We're furthering this tradition by helping to realize the extraordinary potential of Windows
on ARM processors, like Tegra 3."

"Microsoft is excited to partner with NVIDIA to bring developers leading edge Windows on ARM test PCs to support the creation of compelling Metro style app and device experiences for Windows 8," said Aidan Marcuss, Senior Director of Business Planning, Microsoft.