Windows Phone 7 unlocker ChevronWP7 axed

A few days back a Windows Phone 7 unlocking tool, ChevronWP7 was released. This tool allowed WP7 users to unlock their phones to deploy any third-party Windows Phone 7 applications without requiring a Marketplace developer account.

This did not go down too well with  some within the geek and developer community:

“ChevronWP7” is a “jail-breaking” thing (it apparently involves running some code and possibly visiting a website, mucking in your registry and I don’t even know what else… hence calling it a “thing”). The developers of it protest that their motives are noble and have put up a webpage condemning anyone pirating apps and claiming that it can’t be used to pirate anything anyway. They note that they, too, are app developers and just want to help people load things onto their phones that would never pass marketplace certification and are just exploring the hardware blah blah…

Microsoft too warned users from using this WP7 unlocker stating that:

“We anticipated that people would attempt to unlock the phones and explore the underlying operating system. We encourage people to use their Windows Phone as supplied by the manufacturer to ensure the best possible user experience. Attempting to unlock a device could void the warranty, disable phone functionality, interrupt access to Windows Phone 7 services or render the phone permanently unusable.”

The developers of this tool have now been contacted by Microsoft. After a discussion with Brandon Watson, Director of Developer Experience for Windows Phone 7, it was decided to discontinue the tool. You can no longer download it.

“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.”

It is not clear whether the discussions were genuinely in good faith or if some legal muscle was used.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com and a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows for the period 2006-16. He enjoys following and reporting Microsoft news and developments in the world of Personal Computing & Social Media.