Microsoft, like other large companies, has a reputation of handing out some pretty awesome swag to conference-goers. Last year Redmond kicked off its Build conference by handing out tablets running Windows 8 to developers and members of the press.

The hardware and operating system were both preview builds at the time, but it gave devs a good look at where Microsoft was heading on both fronts. So when the Build conference rolled around this year, would the company be able to top last year’s freebies? You betcha.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage for a keynote address at this year’s Build conference. He used the opportunity to announce that all developers in attendance would leave with a 32GB Surface RT tablet complete with a touch cover.

To say that developers were ecstatic would be an understatement, but much like an Opera giveaway show, there were more gifts still in store for audience members. Ballmer also threw in 100GB of SkyDrive storage free of charge. To sweeten the pot even more, Nokia’s global head of developer relations Richard Kerris extended a free Lumia 920 handset to developers.

Ballmer told those in attendance that hundreds of millions of people are just aching to use their applications. He further promised that Microsoft would do more marketing for Windows 8, saying that people won’t be able to pick up a newspaper or turn on the television without seeing their ads. It’s the best opportunity for developers today, he said.