More jailbreaks of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 are apparently underway.
Windows Phone developer Julien Schapman is reportedly refining a way to unlock Windows Phone 7 smartphones so they can download applications outside of Microsoft's applications Marketplace. "My unlock method is similar to that of ChevronWP7 in the way they both use a fake registration sever, but my method is different and more reliable," he apparently wrote in an e-mail to the blog WinRumors.
If actualized, Schapman's program would be the second one capable of unlocking Windows Phone 7, following the ChevronWP7 unlocker. Microsoft plans on closing the loophole that allowed ChevronWP7 to operate, and the developer team behind that application will travel to Redmond by the end of January to talk about their work.
The ChevronWP7 team always claimed their program was beneficial, allowing for the creation and enabling of Windows Phone 7 "homebrew" applications that would otherwise never appear on Microsoft's Marketplace. That includes applications that need to access private or native APIs.
As with the ChevronWP7 creators, Microsoft seems to be reaching out to Schapman.
"Microsoft does not support Windows Phones that have been altered from manufacturer and carrier specifications and we caution that such alterations can dramatically impact reliability, performance, compatibility and security," a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in a Jan. 24 e-mail to eWEEK. "We are aware of Mr. Schapman's work and have been in contact with him regarding his intent and any potential implications."
Microsoft has been tweaking its Windows Phone 7 platform, which it hopes will allow the company to reclaim market-share in the mobile arena from the likes of Google Android and Apple iOS. Within the next few weeks, a series of software updates will supposedly tweak the smartphones for better performance and introduce a missing cut-and-paste feature.
Currently available on GSM-based networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile, Windows Phone 7 is scheduled to appear on CDMA networks such as Sprint and Verizon sometime in the first half of 2011. While Microsoft claims some 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 units have been sold by manufacturers to retailers, it has so far declined to cite how many of those devices found their way into consumers' hands. In a recent interview with the blog Pocket-lint, an LG Electronics executive termed the smartphone platform's initial launch "less than we expected."
Microsoft claimed Jan. 20 it had located the cause of a mysterious "data drain" on Windows Phone 7 handsets: an application created by an unnamed third party, which Microsoft apparently made aware of the issue. Some users had reported their phones were sending relatively significant amounts of data per day-sometimes between 30MB and 50MB of data within a 24-hour period.