Microsoft to officially support homebrew developments on Windows Phone 7

Microsoft will soon support homebrew developments on their Windows Phone 7 platform following two days of meetings with developers behind the ChevronWP7 unlocking tool.

Late last year following the release of Windows Phone 7, a team of developers uncovered a bug which allowed those with a device running the operating system to install applications on their device without using Microsoft's application store, dubbed the Marketplace.

It made headlines as technology enthusiasts fought over whether the release of the unlocking tool, ChevronWP7, was a good idea to enable freedom on the platform or if it was a bad idea, encouraging jailbreaking and piracy.

However the team behind the software were soon contacted by Microsoft's Brandon Watson, Director of Developer Experience for Windows Phone 7, who took a keen interest in the matter and encouraged the developers to cease offering the tool while discussions about ChevronWP7's future continued between Microsoft and the developers.

Fast track to today, and the future is looking bright for developers and users alike seeking to install apps or customise their Windows Phone 7 device further than the Marketplace allows. In a blog post on the ChevronWP7 website, developers Rafael RiveraChris Walsh and Long Zheng confirm the software giant will soon offer an official way for people to "homebrew" develop on their devices, although just how this will happen is still being discussed.

"We're collaborating with Microsoft on an interim solution that will continue to support homebrew developments after the update," the trio wrote. "We will share details of this when it has been finalized."

The breakthrough comes following a two day meeting held at Microsoft's Redmond campus earlier in the month, which Rivera, Walsh and Zheng were invited to. Microsoft confirmed during the meetings that an update will be pushed out "soon" which will fix the bug which allowed the Chevron WP7 tool to work, rendering the unlocking tool useless.

The future isn't looking too gloomy though, with the trio "genuinely excited" about what the future holds for Windows Phone 7, saying they'll continue to work with Microsoft to "support mutual goals of broadening access to the platform while protecting intellectual property and ensuring platform security."

"We appreciate Microsoft's outreach, genuine interest and involvement in this matter and we hope the community can understand we're working towards a win-win scenario."

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