the official release of the first "jailbreaking" software program for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system, its creators have decided to stop development of the program and remove the download from its host site, ?www.chevronwp7.com.Only days after
This decision was made after a conversation between Microsoft's Brandon Watson, Director of Developer Experience for Windows Phone 7, and the tool's developers, Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh and Long Zheng, took place. The conversation led to the establishment of a "mutual understanding" regarding Microsoft's intentions for official support for homebrew applications on the new mobile platform, the developers said.
In a blog post on ChevronWP7.com, the homepage for the software of the same name, the developers wrote they received a phone call from Watson to discuss the unlocking tool. Both parties had the same intentions - to enable sideloading of "homebrew" (that is, not officially supported) applications which are not available for sale in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.
Despite reports to the contrary, those behind the ChevronWP7 software program were never interested in providing a tool for application piracy, although that could have easily been a consequence of the software's public release. The potential for piracy is probably what prompted Microsoft's immediate involvement in the issue in the first place - it would not be good for the newly launched mobile OS to already have a piracy problem, robbing its developers of well-deserved revenues.
Homebrew App Support Planned
Instead of using ChevronWP7 to unlock phones for the purpose of loading other non-Marketplace apps, Microsoft intends to enable official support for homebrew development, the software creators say. (Well technically, Microsoft said it would agree to "engage in futher discussions" about it, according to the blog post.)
But the conversation must have convinced the developers of Microsoft's seriousness, because they agreed to kill off their unlocking tool for good.
They did, however, release their first WP7 homebrew application that could take advantage of unlocked phones - a custom ringtone manager. Of course, this app can only loaded by those who have already unlocked their WP7 devices previously.
Some may be suspicious that Microsoft paid the developers to kill their tool, but according to Chris Walsh's Tweet on the matter, that's not true. We believe that's the case, as well. These developers have been long-time Microsoft supporters, and are probably thrilled that they've managed to force the company's hand on the issue. Official support for homebrewed apps, in their mind, is preferred to tools for hacking.
Assuming official homebrew support for WP7 does arrive, that will make Microsoft's mobile OS more like that of Android, as opposed to iOS (iPhone/iPad). Android has always allowed users to install non-Market apps, while iPhone users have had to constantly hack and re-hack their phones with each new firmware update from Apple. As a regular jailbreaker myself, I too would prefer built-in sideloading functionality to jailbreaking, if given a choice. But in the long run, I'll do what I have to do to open up my phone.