blog post from the creators of ChevronWP7 Labs, a new site for Windows Phone enthusiasts and developers. The service will be provided by longtime Microsoft fans Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh and Long Zheng in partnership with Microsoft, who, last year, notably decided to embrace its hacking and homebrew community, instead of outlaw it.A Microsoft-approved "jailbreaking" solution for Windows Phone is on its way soon, promises a recent
Homebrewing on Windows Phone
Jailbreaking, also sometimes referred to as unlocking*, is the process of hacking a mobile phone to install unapproved third-party applications. It's a common activity among iPhone users, who even have their own "jailbreak" app store known as Cydia.
But when Microsoft's Windows Phone was introduced, there was no way to sideload applications onto the device, which led the above-mentioned group of developers to build a Windows Phone jailbreaking solution called ChevronWP7.
When Microsoft learned of the jailbreaking program's existence, Windows Phone director Brandon Watson got in touch with the group to learn more about their goals. As it turned out, both entities wanted the same thing - to provide a solution for the Windows Phone "homebrew" community, not a tool for application piracy.
With this "mutual understanding" achieved, as they put it in a blog post last December, the group decided to kill their original tool, and work with Microsoft to bring out a legal, safe and officially supported solution instead.
Introducing ChevronWP7 Labs
Now, that long-awaited solution is finally here - well, almost. According to a post on ChevronWP7.com, the group is nearly ready to launch a new unlocking service on the website http://labs.chevronwp7.com.
The service will require a "small fee" paid for via PayPal, to offset the development costs. In response to commenters' questions on the original post, Rivera notes that the fee won't be recurring - it's just "management overhead" for the team.
There are still several questions that remain, however, including how much the "small" fee will actually be, and, perhaps more importantly, what day the service launches. For now, those interested have been directed to follow the Twitter account @ChevronWP7 for more details.
*Note: In the iPhone hacking community, "unlocking" generally means allowing a phone to run on an unsupported carrier, but in this case, it's being used to mean "jailbreaking."