As a diehard BlackBerry fanactic this post is a little awkward to write, but I felt compelled to do it up nonetheless. Yesterday after leaving the main exhibitor's hall at CTIA, I tagged along with Dieter (who's covering the news for and we attended a Microsoft Happy Hour.

I gotta say - Microsoft knows how to show appreciation for its peeps. Even better than the free food and drinks was the fact that high-level Microsoft & partner executives were in attendance who were more than happy to give bloggers like Dieter and I facetime (they didn't even mind that my badge said and I blogged in favor of the competition). Equally cool was the present we received upon leaving - an ugly Microsoft bag, a bottle of water and.... a free phone?!?! I was shocked! Dieter got a Samsung BlackJack II and I got a Motorola Q9H. It's no BlackBerry, but still... how can you argue with a free test unit?!

Why do I say test unit? Because it turns out (much to our surprise) the new toys came loaded with Windows Mobile 6.1, which hasn't even been released yet (Microsoft just announced it yesterday at CTIA)! This OS won't be publicly available until sometime this summer. A free phone with a pre-release software... how cool is that?!

Update: I've managed to strike a deal with Dieter to trade the free Moto Q9H for a new BlackBerry 8320 Curve. Dieter is so excited to get his hands on a second WinMo phone with 6.1 that he didn't have to think twice about shelling out the cash to buy me off with a new Berry. w00t!!!!!