Windows Phone 7 unlocker scrapped after less than a week

The first and only attempt at unlocking the Windows Phone 7 platform appears to have lasted less than a week, with the developers of the ChevronWP7 tool today announcing it has been discontinued.

Writing on the project's official blog, Microsoft enthusiasts Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh and Long Zheng said they had been contacted by Windows Phone 7 director of developer experience Brandon Watson regarding the ChevronWP7 tool. The tool, released November 26, allowed any user to side load applications that would not be allowed in the official Marketplace, bypassing the need to pay a USD$99 developer fee to Microsoft.

The trio said Mr Watson was interested in establishing ''a mutual understanding of our intent to enable homebrew opportunities and to open the Windows Phone 7 platform for broader access to developers and users.''

''To pursue these goals with Microsoft’s support, Brandon Watson has agreed to engage in futher discussions with us about officially facilitating homebrew development on WP7. To fast-track discussions, we are discontinuing the unlocking tool effective immediately,'' they said.

The abrupt change of direction came just hours after the ChevronWP7 team released their first homebrew app for unlocked phones, a WP7 custom ringtone manager. Commenters on the ChevronWP7 blog quickly pointed out that the ringtone manager relies on the unlocker tool, leaving users who loaded custom ringtones using the homebrew app without a way to remove them, though Long Zheng has promised a solution is on the way. Relocking an unlocked phone also appears to be impossible for the time being.

The ChevronWP7 tool is no longer available for download and those who do manage to find a copy will find it does not work, as an online certificate integral to the unlocking process has been taken down. No timeframe has been given as to when the ''official'' homebrew scene will appear.

Despite only being available for a matter of days, the ChevronWP7 project attracted more than its fair share of controversy, sparking a fierce debate over the possible use of the tool for app piracy. Microsoft also weighed in last week, warning users that unlocking a Windows Phone 7 device could void the phone's warranty or even render the device ''permanently unusable''.

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There is that whole antivirus/malware/spyware debacle on the desktops...

Otherwise you're mostly right.

The smartest thing MS could do would be allow anyone to develop free apps for their platform, and make them pay to release paid apps..

Ryoken said,
The smartest thing MS could do would be allow anyone to develop free apps for their platform, and make them pay to release paid apps..

That's what I was thinking.. However the 99 dollars or free for students is cheap with all the extras you get in the end. Especially since that is only 1 months cell phone bill fir a log of people

Ryoken said,
The smartest thing MS could do would be allow anyone to develop free apps for their platform, and make them pay to release paid apps..

Well the fee is for access to the marketplace not for the right to sell apps really. I think MS already has a sideloader in the works that doesn't need to have the phone unlocked to work. I think this because it's the type of tool that business would want/need and MS wants to get WP7 in the enterprise quick.

If it's just about sideloading your own free apps then really it doesn't hurt MS and just helps push the platform in the end.

ahhell said,
It costs $99 for a dev kit licence. How ****ing cheap are people?!?!?!?

Christ sakes.


SDK on android cost NONE. Zero, FREE!

ahhell said,
It costs $99 for a dev kit licence. How ****ing cheap are people?!?!?!?

Sadly, if the unlocker cost $99 then nobody would complain! It's just a bunch of a hypocritical hatred.

Gutierrez said,

SDK on android cost NONE. Zero, FREE!

SDK for WP7 is also free. The $99 is the WP7Marketplace fee.

What's more, with the *same SDK*, you can develop for more than just WP7 (you can target the Web, XB360, or even Windows itself). Extra cost - none.

Can you use the Android SDK to develop for non-Android platforms?

The SDK isn't the problem here.

Nas said,

Sadly, if the unlocker cost $99 then nobody would complain! It's just a bunch of a hypocritical hatred.

It'd be hilarious is someone made an "unlocker" that cost $99 that was simply a wrapper for the process of signing up for the Marketplace program and getting, installing and signing with legit certificates.

iKenndac said,

It'd be hilarious is someone made an "unlocker" that cost $99 that was simply a wrapper for the process of signing up for the Marketplace program and getting, installing and signing with legit certificates.

It'd be even more hilarious if Apple did the same and charged to put apps onto the App Store.... oh wait..... they do!!!!!

PGHammer said,

SDK for WP7 is also free. The $99 is the WP7Marketplace fee.

What's more, with the *same SDK*, you can develop for more than just WP7 (you can target the Web, XB360, or even Windows itself). Extra cost - none.

Can you use the Android SDK to develop for non-Android platforms?

The SDK isn't the problem here.

+1

Gutierrez said,
you dont need this unlucker, at all. Actually you dont need wp7 by any reason.

What is a unlucker?

aftas said,

What is a unlucker?

The same as an unlocker but different, lol

I would also like to know why Gutierrez thinks that "you don't need WP7 by any reason". I assume he/she is just being a troll.

Edited by neo158, Dec 1 2010, 3:10pm :

I might have been very VERY vocal with my feelings about ChevronWP7 but this is the right thing to do, kudos to Microsoft for wanting to work with and not against the homebrew community.

Apple and Sony take note, this is the way to go with application development on your devices!!!!

There is nothing wrong with a locked system if the manager of the 'lock' does not incur in censorship and anti-competitive practises. Application delivery via the Marketplace will be better for us all, because it is so easy to develop for WP7 that if apps could be just downloaded from general websites, we would have a nightmare of adware, spam, trojan, crap and then we will need a stupid antivirus running on a phone and eating battery and resources. The only thing MS should do is remain open, do no censor, provide a rating system so people can choose with rating level of apps they can browse and run in the phone, maintain a low fee to submit apps to the marketplace, and make available a private distribution mechanism (publish apps to specific groups of phone privately) for corporations and individuals that want to test betas on the field or make some very custom app. No unlocking necessary.

The 3 behind ChevronWP7 were in a hard spot, & will lose some serious cred with a lot of folks because of their perceived surrender. MS has also lost with what, purely from a marketing/PR perspective is a fairly big, serious blunder -- it brings to mind the commercials poking fun at ATT wireless because of the weight iPhone users lug around (namely ATT & its restrictions). Marketing & PR aside, MS probably hopes that it'll blow over before it reaches the more non-tech marketplace -- their win7 phone OS may or may not be a success overall, but they're dead at the starting gate without devs, apparently taking whatever whining seriously. Back to marketing/PR, & the tech marketplace, complaining devs came out of it in a very poor light, but that's largely irrelevant to overall sales [based solely on observations that the average consumer doesn't care when or whether any tech community strongly disapproves of certain software publishers because they disregard open source licensing terms].

At any rate, MS now faces a steeper uphill battle against Android & Apple phones, since many creative people will probably ignore the win7 phone platform in favor of those 2 leaders, at least initially, with the MS version showing up only if/when success prompts overwhelming demand. They've sort of flipped off those inclined to hack the MS phone -- that plus the fact they'll have a larger following without ChevronWP7 could very well boost the illegal use some devs threw a tantrum over. With the win7 phones having now lost a measure of Cool, I'm waiting to see if & how Apple pushes the advantage.

Um... most people don't care about the "unlockability" of a phone. Like my girlfriend. I showed her my Windows 7 phone, and she said "The screen is so shiny, I wish I had that instead [of my droid X]". That's what people care about, and MS is doing a very good job right now.

It's not like MS even stopped the hacking, all they did was reach an understanding with one hacker.

BigBoy said,
Rumor is that this was done becasue MS is bringing this in the official OS in the future:

http://www.techeye.net/mobile/...ed-into-adding-wp7-homebrew

I don't think Microsoft were "strong armed" into opening the platform to homebrew, ChevronWP7 might have "forced" the issue but i've always believed that Microsoft wanted to get the basics of WP7 right first before adding more features.

I've said it before and i'll say it again, kudos to Microsoft for actually working with and not against the community.

The certificate + the hack is posted all over the place. Just because MS threatened the Chevron team(a couple guys were MVP's) doesn't mean you still can't find the files, and unlock the phone. So things really haven't gotten worse.

eviltwigflipper said,
The certificate + the hack is posted all over the place. Just because MS threatened the Chevron team(a couple guys were MVP's) doesn't mean you still can't find the files, and unlock the phone. So things really haven't gotten worse.

They were threatened?

Source?

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