Posted on 01-14-11 05:29 am
Hacking normally involves some shady but normally legitimate mods to software to bring to light new functions in your device. In the previous Windows Mobile era, Microsoft leaned towards a policy of ignorance towards what developers did to their devices, which brought forth cooked ROMs, unofficial WM6.5 updates, etc. Today, with Windows Phone 7, the stance has changed.
The HTC HD2, once flashed to Windows Phone 7, will not be able to sync with any Windows Live account. This is similar to Windows activation on the desktop, which requires that the software phone home and register its software key. Since the HTC HD2 is not a Windows Phone 7 device, it is not shipped with a PVK, which means it cannot activate with Microsoft's services. When we first reported yesterday about the HD2 getting live services, we were slightly skewed as to what this actually involves.
After further research, we discovered this to be more of a social hack, a type of hack involving tricking clueless employees into thinking that HTC forgot to activate your device. This calls for reason #1 why activating your phone is a bad idea. By lying to Microsoft, you are basically committing a form of fraud to obtain a license key. We are not experts, and the laws vary from country to country, but keep in mind this is not your usual stealing MP3 type of crime-Microsoft gets your name, number, email address, and device information. If Microsoft wanted to enforce this, long story short, you're in trouble.
Of course, we realize that much of the internet is not concerned about breaking their country's laws, a fact we will not have any judgement on. The second reason why you shouldn't activate your HD2 is a little more concerning for some:
Just think. If Microsoft receives hundreds of calls in 24 hours with users claiming their "HD7s" were shipped without PVKs, they're going to catch on. In fact, when reading on XDA developers, a certain post seemed troubling. A certain user writes:
I called the same # about 30 min ago. She asked me what type of phone it was. I said "schubert" then she asked me what happened to my activation code. I told her they never gave me one when i bought the phone. Then she gave me the code. I think there catching on though. She was like " We sure are selling alot of these phones in the last 24h" There gonna catch on just like with the sd cards a while back. Definitely a red flag. They will probably start asking for the serial # of the phone in the near future.
Other users reported being directed to HTC for support, or having strange comments made by Microsoft representatives. The point is this: when you hack software, the software won't bite back. When you hack humans, someone's going to figure it out, and when they do, a lot is going down.
Of course, by now, Microsoft employees have probably read the news all over the internet, so we're interested in what stance Microsoft takes on the issue. There is no way to "purchase" a PVK, unfortunately, leaving this the only option to activate your HD2 and use the Marketplace. Whatever you do is up to you, but we give our warning: Don't get caught, Don't get Microsoft to backlash on everyone else.
See XDA Developers for details.