Microsoft plans on closing a Windows Phone 7 unlocking loophole in its next software update, one that allowed the Chevron WP7 app to operate.
plans on closing a loophole that allowed Windows Phone 7 owners to unlock their
devices, says a developer team that created such an unlocking application.
has been subtly communicated before, we'd like to reiterate Microsoft has
informed us the "coding error" used in the ChevronWP7 unlocker will no longer
work after the next Windows Phone 7 update (officially announced at CES 2011),"
the ChevronWP7 team wrote in a Jan. 12 posting on their official blog.
The team is
apparently traveling to Redmond before the end of January to talk with
Microsoft's smartphone people about "the homebrew potentials of Windows Phone 7
and some of the wider community feedback around the platform."
creators claim ChevronWP7 is a beneficial (read: non-piracy-enabling) tool,
allowing for the creation and enabling of Windows Phone 7 "homebrew"
applications that would otherwise never appear on Microsoft's applications
Marketplace. Such applications include those that need to access private or
the pain out of the process involved and put together a super-simple executable
that will allow anyone to unlock any WP7 device on the market using a USB cable
and just a couple clicks," they wrote in a Nov. 25 posting on the blog.
Microsoft became very interested in the application's development, although it
seemed to take a more positive approach than the usual "cease and desist"
orders. "Earlier today, we were contacted by Brandon Watson, director of
developer experience for Windows Phone 7, to discuss the ChevronWP7 unlocking
tool," the developers wrote in a Dec. 1 posting. "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."
planning a series of Windows Phone 7 updates in order to introduce new features
to the platform and tweak it for better performance. In addition to
cut-and-paste functionality, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said during his Jan. 5
keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show that the updates would result in
"significant performance improvements when loading and switching between
available on GSM-based networks such as AT&T, Windows Phone 7 will appear
on CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) networks such as Sprint and Verizon
sometime in the first half of 2011. Microsoft claims manufacturers have sold some
1.5 million Windows Phone 7 units to retailers, although it remains reluctant
to share how many of those devices have found their way into consumers' hands.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.