PSA: Microsoft not targeting unlocked WP7 devices

The tin-foil hat brigade came out in force yesterday, with forum users claiming Microsoft was targeting user unlocked Windows Phone 7 devices.

Users at xdadevelopers began reporting around 7am that their devices, which had been unlocked using the infamous ChevronWP7 tool, had begun mysteriously re-locking themselves. Making matters worse, users were reportedly seeing a message which read: ''[application name] has been revoked by Microsoft. Please uninstall it.''

Microsoft enthusiast and ChevronWP7 co-creator Rafael Rivera threw cold water on growing paranoia just hours later, saying in a blog post that unlocked WP7 devices were not being targeted.

The re-lock, he explained, was the result of the way ChevronWP7 used a particular certificate to trick the phone into believing it was a developer device.

''The phone is reverting back as a result of a periodic check. Simply put, the phone rings Microsoft and asks “Hey, am I supposed to be unlocked?”. If Microsoft responds with a “No, what are you thinking?”, the phone apologizes and initiates a lock down,'' he said.

If an unsigned application is running at the time of the check, the aforementioned error message appears, he said. Unsigned applications do not need to be removed from a re-locked phone.

Rivera went on to say the ChevronWP7 team had been aware of a check-in period of around two weeks, but had not looked into it any further.

Earlier this month, Mr Rivera, along with co-developers Chris Walsh and Long Zheng said they had been contacted by Microsoft and asked to work with the software giant to foster an ''official'' Windows Phone homebrew scene. As a result, the ChevronWP7 tool, which had allowed any user to side load applications that would not be permitted in the official Marketplace, was immediately discontinued. Within hours, enterprising users had discovered a way to reactivate the tool and a number of homebrew apps have appeared since.

Image Credit: wpcentral

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