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Chevron for WP7 should get geek heads turning

Screen Shot 2011 10 31 at 13 18 57

Microsoft smartly jumped straight into bed with the team of developers who got together to try and make it easy to hack (or, to install unsigned applications on) their Windows Phone devices.

Instead of making it a total flipping nightmare for users, it’s actually going to be rather simple. Here’s the Chevron team with more details:

We know that our work is sometimes misinterpreted as promoting “jailbreaking” activities. This is not the case. Our goal is to help bright people do awesome things without infringing upon the developer community with apps in the Marketplace. In fact, we had many conversations with Microsoft to make sure we do this the right way. It may be the long way around, but we feel this approach is ethical, the best way to ensure that the program stays alive and hobbyists like us get more access to cool toys.

They’re funding themselves by charging $9 to unlock your device:

On the desktop, you’ll run our custom version of the unlocking tool. It’s very similar to the official “developer registration” tool, however instead of requiring an App Hub account, it requires an unlock token. Oh and it looks prettier. Otherwise, it behaves identically. No magic spells. No exploits. Your phone’s warranty and support lifelines will remain intact.

Very, very cool indeed.

Other manufacturers are going to need to step up to the mark to rival this.

I would imagine that a lot of people will be encouraged to try this out — and given that it’s permanent and it doesn’t void your warranty I reckon we should hopefully see a hotbed of innovation growing up around Windows Phone.

Keep your eye on their site at http://www.chevronwp7.com/.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

5 replies on “Chevron for WP7 should get geek heads turning”

I always thought that this was something that had to arrive on WP7 now that MS are so tightly tied to Nokia. Yes for the general consumer it may be, annoyingly, all about the application store but there is a massive community out there who like to programme and share their own applications without the whole arsing around with application store acceptance etc. On my current phone I have several applications that are sold by the company who develops them direct as they have been doing this for Nokia’s since they founded and I have three very specialised applications that have been developed in Qt by friends and are shared with the simple act of emailing me the .sis file.

As Ewan said, this is for the real power users, some of who could become the leading advocates of the WP ecosystem with things like this. I’ll be honest and say that this one article, more than any other, has sold me on moving from Symbian to WP next year. I was waiting for some very very specific hardware from Nokia  before really considering it, but this, this has made it much easier for me to approach WP, their developer packages and they ecosystem as a whole.

A question though. Why the need for this statement at the end “Your phone’s warranty and support lifelines will remain intact.”? I’ve always assumed that Apple were the only ones who had issues with this sort of thing? What about Blackberry?

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