Microsoft gives ChevronWP7 the blessing to jailbreak phones

Jailbreaking has always been a source of contention between hardware providers and the hobbyists who enjoy the products. Sony is notorious for suing people who attempt to use their products outside of the intended use and Apple claims that jailbreaking violates their copyright. Now, despite commercials depicting the hip Apple user and the stodgy PC user, it appears that Microsoft is taking the “cool” route by partnering with ChevronWP7 to provide an authorized way to jailbreak your WP7 phone.

According to ChevronWP7’s website, “As announced on the Windows Phone Dev Podcast, we will soon be launching an approved Windows Phone unlocking service as part of ChevronWP7 Labs. This will be available to developers across all skill levels and all regions.

It remains to be seen how much support Microsoft is lending to the group and whether the two will work together to ensure that future operating system upgrades do not interfere with the jailbreaking. The group has worked together with Microsoft for a while, having visited Redmond back in January to discuss the future of homebrew, jailbreaking, and increasing security on the platform.  Regardless, this is a great attempt by Microsoft to make the Windows Phone 7 platform more enticing to those who want to dig into the internals of the device.

Image Courtesy of WPCentral.com

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33 Comments

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I wonder if this has anything to do with last week's announcement of Apple selling unlocked iDevices in the US.

I like Microsoft's partnership approach over Apple's we want all the $$$s.

charging people to jailbreak is a joke. this is why wp7 never took off and probably never will. micro$oft just found a way to milk the cash cow more.

Max Norris said,
A joke versus the non-existant sanctioned alternatives you get from the other platforms? Still with the {0}#039;s too I see, that's cute.

id NEVER pay to unlock or jailbreak any phone on any platform. you don't have to on apple or android.

And Apple or Android can get you a voided warranty or even in legal trouble. Don't want it, then don't use it.. think there won't be others out there?

Max Norris said,
And Apple or Android can get you a voided warranty or even in legal trouble. Don't want it, then don't use it.. think there won't be others out there?

wp7 never adopted very well... we shall see what happens when mango hits.

As far as I understand, it' not a "hack" of the phone. It's a hack of the developer unlock. When you pay $99 for the AppHub account, you can unlock your phone to sideload your apps and can publish apps to the marketplace.
The original ChevronWP7 unlocker circumvented a hole in the unlock process to allow unlocking without paying for the the AppHub accout (the hole was fixed in NoDo).
Now ChewronWP7 team will provide the same ability for the small fee. Which makes more sense than being required to pay $99/year for the priviledge of running your own apps on your own phone.

I certainly think MS are bit two faced when it comes to hacking their gear so far they say go right ahead hack Kinect we don't mind now they're saying fine hack our Windows Phone 7 phones but oh hey hang on Don't you dare touch our Xbox's no mod chips allowed errm I think if it's good enough for one product it's good enough for all you don't get to picky choosey

Hacking a Kinect is a pretty big difference from modding an XBox to run pirated copies of software though. Theft kind of gives them the right to be a little picky choosey.

I love my WP7, nice clean and easy interface, but its not hacked as of yet not like my Windows Mobile 6.5 that I have had for years. Kudos to MS for this as custom roms are great.

WP7 has run on my HD2 and is side-loadable, jailbroken, and for all intents and purposes rooted. And did I mention the HD2 isn't a native WP7 device? I may have forgot to mention it's also completely Live activated with my Gamertag and all.

That's really cool of MSFT tho, no really it is.

Good deal. This will/should help WP7 sales. Giving people the option of doing more with what they PAY for has proven to really work, and be what the customers want.

Embracing the hackers while, Sony is close to putting graf_chokolo in jail and he didnt even had anything to do with piracy, just restore something he promised with he bought the system. OtherOS

I'm starting to like this Windows Phone thing. When does the new version come out, and will there be a new line of handsets ready when it launches?

Enron said,
I'm starting to like this Windows Phone thing. When does the new version come out, and will there be a new line of handsets ready when it launches?

Yup. The new version (codenamed Mango), at least the earliest that we know about will come some time around September, this year. There could be some minor updates before that though.

New phones will probably be launched together with Mango.

Enron said,
I'm starting to like this Windows Phone thing. When does the new version come out, and will there be a new line of handsets ready when it launches?

Nokia will start releasing their new handsets when Mango comes out.

engadget reports "this service won't be free. Instead, customers will have to cough up a small fee via PayPal "

None the less its a step in the right direction from MS. I already have a Dev account so do not need it but for those who want it it guess its a good thing. Embrace the inevitable really good tactic

Noveed said,
engadget reports "this service won't be free. Instead, customers will have to cough up a small fee via PayPal "

None the less its a step in the right direction from MS. I already have a Dev account so do not need it but for those who want it it guess its a good thing. Embrace the inevitable really good tactic

Does Engadget bother to point out the fact that the fee goes tot he ChevronWP7 guys for dev costs and so on and not the MS at all?

these guys are the only ones who could jailbreak wp7... 2+ months of nodo and noone has been able to do that. why? i dont know. but after nodo, there hasn't been other jailbreak way.
so even though they say it will cost a small fee, i think its something they deserve for what they are doing. i would get this one for sure.

EmilyTheStrange said,
these guys are the only ones who could jailbreak wp7... 2+ months of nodo and noone has been able to do that. why? i dont know. but after nodo, there hasn't been other jailbreak way.
so even though they say it will cost a small fee, i think its something they deserve for what they are doing. i would get this one for sure.

I'm not quite sure what you mean but I just recently Jailbroke a WP7 last week. No biggie. But now that there's microsoft support for it hopefully it won't take me until 6 in the morning to do it next time

EmilyTheStrange said,
these guys are the only ones who could jailbreak wp7... 2+ months of nodo and noone has been able to do that. why? i dont know. but after nodo, there hasn't been other jailbreak way.
so even though they say it will cost a small fee, i think its something they deserve for what they are doing. i would get this one for sure.

It was a major 'technical' feat to jailbreak the phone, the only trick was providing the tools to make it easy.

The way it is being 'broke' isn't 'secured', as it is just opening up development access at more levels. Think of the ZuneHD, the same thing, it wasn't a security hurdle, just an access method.

If it was MS's intent to 'secure' this level of access, they could have put in even a few basic key security checks on the access model.

It is like the Kinect, there was no 'hacking', as there was no security in place, all people had to do was interpret the USB data coming from it.


Brennon Miller said,

I'm not quite sure what you mean but I just recently Jailbroke a WP7 last week. No biggie. But now that there's microsoft support for it hopefully it won't take me until 6 in the morning to do it next time

How did you unlock a Post-NoDO phone?? I have an AppHub account, but cannot unlock my phone.

I like how they are doing this.. Create a really closed system so that it is good and secure for enterprise use and for people that dont mind having a closed system to compete with the blackberry and Iphone.. But also have a safe way to jailbrake it which is a big seller for people that need an open platform..

Benjy91 said,
I wonder if its this attitude by Microsoft that has so far saved them from the wrath of hackers.

Seems to be working so far

Windows Mobile has a long history of hackish third-party development. Most of it has been beneficial to the platform, but only because the platform was so poor to begin with that Microsoft could either turn a blind eye to it or lose all of their hardcore support. I'd have returned by current Windows Mobile 6 phone within a couple of days if not for the excellent custom ROMs available.

WP7 seems like it's much less in need of this, especially with the new APIs in Mango. I think they're quite aware of this too, so I can't help but wonder how the unlocker or the OS underneath will be restricted. I just can't see them allowing people to sideload custom dialers or launchers that use private APIs to replace core components if they can help it.

But, if they do, I know for sure which phone platform I want to use.

Benjy91 said,
I wonder if its this attitude by Microsoft that has so far saved them from the wrath of hackers.

Or maybe the script kidies are smart enough to not mess with the company who works with the police to put hackers and spammers and other annoying people way above their skill grade in jail

Then again, all things considered, I shouldn't attribute that kind of intelligence to lulzsec.

random_n said,
wonder how the unlocker or the OS underneath will be restricted. I just can't see them allowing people to sideload custom dialers or launchers that use private APIs to replace core components if they can help it.

I'm sure that the new unlock = standard developer unlock without the yearly $99 fee and ability to publish to the marketplace. So the OS wil be as restricted as it curently is.