ChevronWP7 Unlocking Hack for WP7 Pulled after Microsoft Contacts Developers

Screenshot of ChevronWP7 unlock

We hardly knew you ChevronWP7--any bets on how long until the hack ends up all over the Internet?


Almost as quickly as it appeared, the only hacking option to switch smartphones running Microsoft’s new WP7 OS—ChevronWP7—into developer mode has disappeared. The reason? Because the technology allows pirated apps to run on the platform and Microsoft’s own Director of Developer Experience for WP7, Brandon Watson, contacted the three man team behind the WP7 develop mode unlock to discuss alternative possibilities to get homebrewed apps onto the platform besides hacking the whole system. 

The team behind ChevronWP7 have pulled their WP7 unlock hack from their website and have also posted on their blog to explain the rationale behind their decision. The whole team, which consists of Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh and Long Zheng, signed the blog posting which stated that: 

“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.” 

There you have it. ChevronWP7 died after only being available for about week. While the hack is still the only way to for those without membership to Microsoft’s WP7 developers network to run apps that utilize features in WP7 that are not officially supported yet, the developers must have realized that they should take Microsoft’s gesture of outreach in good faith. Who knows? We might see some type of similar hack available from Microsoft itself in the near future or some type of app distribution system that lets those who want to hack around as amateurs do so without buying into Microsoft’s developer systems. 

What in the world could have made Microsoft change its usually not-so-pleasant tone towards hackers that enable software piracy? Try this on for size. The very first Xbox modding case to actually reach trial (it’s technically illegal to mod Xboxes apparently since doing so allows pirated games to run on the systems) has hit a huge setback. At least for Microsoft. 

The Federal judge assigned to the case “berated” the prosecution for its witness list yesterday according to MSNBC. The prosecution in this case—surprise! The same US Government that already declared jailbreaking and unlocking legal for the iPhone—has been put on notice for wanting to use two key witnesses in the case that have already admitted to breaking the law. A private investigator involved in the investigation has been accused of illegally recording the defendant, Matthew Crippen, modifying Xbox 360 consoles. The other witness is a Microsoft employee who went over the two consoles that Crippen modden. He admitted to modifying Xboxes in college himself before Microsoft hired him. 

That zany enough for you? Even one of the guys in charge of investigating modded Xboxes at Microsoft has done it himself before in the past. Strong arm approaches seem to be backfiring for Microsoft so trying to befriend hackers instead of getting into a technology war with them is a plausible alternative. Let’s see how this all pans out though before we give M$ a hug for not just slapping someone with multiple lawsuits. 

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