09:20 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

ChevronWP7 Yanks Windows Phone Unlocking Tool

After hearing directly from Microsoft, ChevronWP7 pulled its Windows Phone 7 unlocking tool from the web.

In late November, three developers released a tool that allowed owners of Windows Phone 7 devices to unlock their phone, making it possible to install and run applications not approved or distributed through the official Marketplace for Windows Phone.

The idea is similar to jailbreaking an iPhone or rooting an Android device. Those who unlock their phones generally have more options available when it comes to what they can install and run on their phones. The developers -- Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh, and Long Zheng -- said their intent was not to encourage piracy, but rather to allow developers to circumvent the $99 developer fee charged by Microsoft to develop for the WP7 platform.

Microsoft, apparently, wasn't pleased. Brandon Watson, Director of Developer Experience for Windows Phone, reached out to the developers of ChevronWP7.

ChevronWP7 wrote in a blog post, "Through this discussion, we established 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 further discussions with us about officially facilitating homebrew development on WP7. To fast-track discussions, we are discontinuing the unlocking tool effective immediately."

In other words, ChevronWP7 is pulling its software, but says that Microsoft has agreed in theory to make homebrewed apps officially supported in some capacity.

ChevronWP7 said, "We are excited to explore the opportunity to become more involved with the shaping of the platform and to build a feedback channel for developers around the world."

The developers are keeping their ringtone creator available, and are offering the source code to encourage homebrew developers.

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