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/.