Posted on 10-14-11 09:06 pm
We've covered ChevronWP7 Labs since the beginning of it's tidbit history, but we'll give you a brief recap of what the deal has been with this whole...situation.
ChevronWP7 started up shortly after Windows Phone 7 initially launched, and was a simple tool that spoofed the Developer Unlock system to make your phone think you're a genuine developer and unlock itself. Since then, Microsoft patched it with NoDo, then further gave us the shaft on Mango by adding further restrictions to legitimate developers and making it even harder to bypass their restrictions.
In the meantime, the Chevron team has been talking with Microsoft to decide on what will come of homebrew. The official result was a project with very few details that the team announced, dubbed ChevronWP7 Labs, which was listed as a way to give us official, documented homebrew unlocking, with a small registry fee.
We'll put our mixed feelings on the project aside for a bit, and cover the new details released by the team today. The project is "reaching the finish line", which, as the team admits they are on Valve time, will be in a few weeks, apparently. Here's the juice:
- The tool will cost $9 per unlock token, which are sold via PayPal or credit card and unlock one device infinite times.
- The tool requires a Windows Live ID for the registration/login process
- The tool is essentially the same as the developer unlocking tool (obviously), but it ties into the tokens rather than the AppHub registrations.
- A queue line up the unlock processes, for administrative and monitoring purposes (standard practice with these kinds of things, especially in the beginning)
There's also this sentence, which has some value to it, depending on how you take it:
We know that our work is sometimes misinterpreted as promoting “jailbreaking” activities. This is not the case. Our goal is to help bright people do awesome things without infringing upon the developer community with apps in the Marketplace. In fact, we had many conversations with Microsoft to make sure we do this the right way. It may be the long way around, but we feel this approach is ethical, the best way to ensure that the program stays alive and hobbyists like us get more access to cool toys.
...What? The team probably means "we are taking a stance against piracy" with that paragraph, but we said that, not them. It could almost be taken in a way that they're following Microsoft's policy, but given the last sentence, it seems our earlier suspicions are more of the case.
How it will all go down is still to be determined, and I, for one, hope that the team realizes the homebrew community is doing much to keep the platform alive, rather than attack the existing Marketplace apps. But I'll let this one go to the comments: Are you excited about this launch, or do you find the whole $9 per device deal a little extraneous for the right to use your device as it is intended? Sound it off.
To the team: Good work on the project, glad you could negotiate with Microsoft to bring this ability to the general Windows Phone users. But I can only express my gratitude for true jailbreaking.