After the creation of HTCdev.com and Samsung giving away Galaxy S II phones to the modders, then hiring Cyanogen, now Sony Ericsson is taking 20 of its Android phones to the modders and saying to fire at will.
There is a strong FreeXperia movement, which deals with custom ROMs for the Xperia Android line. The Timescape UI of SE offers pretty heavy modification of the stock Android interface, so the company deciding to cooperate with the ROM crowd is great news for Xperia owners. Both the FreeXperia and CyanogenMod teams have announced already that the Cyanogen custom ROMs will be coming to all handset of Sony Ericsson's Xperia line released this and last year.
Sony Ericsson's manager of developer relations, Karl-Johan Dahlström commented why they are giving away 20 Xperia phones and helping rogue developers with tools:
source: Cyanogen & AndroidAuthority