GeoHot shows interest in WP7, Microsoft offers him a device

By on January 19, 2011, 2:02 PM
Hacker George Hotz, also known as GeoHot, is known for helping crack the iPhone and for releasing the PlayStation 3 root key and custom firmware. Understandably, he is fed up with both Apple's and Sony's stances on jailbreaking (Apple wants to make jailbreaking illegal while Sony is suing GeoHot). According to his website though, he likes Microsoft's approach on homebrew and wants to try Windows Phone 7:

perhaps a more appropriate way to deal with jailbreakers
I'm going out to buy a Windows 7 phone

GeoHot seems to prefer Microsoft's more humane treatment of hackers. After hearing that GeoHot was interested in Windows Phone 7, Brandon Watson, Director of Developer Experience for Windows Phone 7, posted the following on his Twitter account: "#geohot if you want to build cool stuff on #wp7, send me email and the team will give you a phone - let dev creativity flourish #wp7dev."

With GeoHot onboard, Microsoft has an even bigger chance to push Windows Phone 7 to geeks. If the company can successfully build a homebrew community, it will be able to build a niche for itself in the mobile phone market. From there, the company will be able to grow Windows Phone much more quickly.

"Brandon Watson and GeoHot exchanged a few notes following Brandon's Twitter posting yesterday. They discussed providing GeoHot with a device," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement. "Microsoft is deeply invested in sustaining strong relationships with a wide range of developers and enthusiasts and are always interested in what we can learn from those communities."





User Comments: 17

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princeton princeton said:

MS may have made some bad decisions. But they're damn smart. Good homebrew will bring a lot of developers ect over to WP7,

mccartercar said:

Sony should take a page from Microsoft's book.

Reaching out to a community before they reach out to you is the best approach to all situations of this type.

Guest said:

Good move on Microsoft, may try and block but if the realize embracing is better then say how Sony has been over reacting.

Look at the Xbox360 Kinect they wanted 100% control, and once open source jumped on it and MS saw what was happening, embraced it and plan on releasing official driver's and a SDK.

ramonsterns said:

Good move on Microsoft's part, but only because the WP7 wasn't doing so hot. Oh well, a step is a step, even if it's not completely forward.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Just want to say, how is submitting your app to MS for approval officially homebrew? Is it still to be the case that you cant add your own apps to your phone directly?

I know you can pay MS some money then submit 5 free apps for the first year, $19.99 for each one after that. Is that what we are talking about here or are there plans to unlock the phone for all users for free?

Emil said:

yukka said:

Just want to say, how is submitting your app to MS for approval officially homebrew? Is it still to be the case that you cant add your own apps to your phone directly?

I know you can pay MS some money then submit 5 free apps for the first year, $19.99 for each one after that. Is that what we are talking about here or are there plans to unlock the phone for all users for free?

Read the end of this article: [link]

Mizzou Mizzou said:

This is certainly better public relations for Microsoft than Sony getting thrown out of court on their can.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Heh...this is only happening because MS is taking a colossal beating on it's WP7.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ok that's interesting. Thanks Emil I must have skipped that bit if the article or missed the relevance. I have a HD7 and anything that lets me put my own apps on it gets my thumbs up

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

TomSEA said:

Heh...this is only happening because MS is taking a colossal beating on it's WP7.

Really need sone patches fast from MS. They miscalculated the importance of copy and paste etc.

AlienOverlord said:

Sony loses money (or used to) on each PS3 sold, they make money on the software which can now be pirated and the online games can now be hacked. A different situation I'd say.

princeton princeton said:

AlienOverlord said:

Sony loses money (or used to) on each PS3 sold, they make money on the software which can now be pirated and the online games can now be hacked. A different situation I'd say.

Actually they've stated with the slim model they are once again making a profit off of the console.

aj_the_kidd said:

Smart move, good PR and great timing. Would it be a conflict of interest if MS backed GeoHot with his legal issues with Sony?

Lurker101 said:

Regardless of the reasons, this is a fantastic move by Microsoft.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

i agree partly for yes, Geohot is a hacking genius but nevertheless, not mature. yet if it's not hacking, it's not hacking! ... MS is making a programmer out of a hacker & nothing less, so it is still good. I think SONY should have done almost same in the beginning, when Geohot started to show some interest in the Linux on PS3 ...

there's one thing not to forget: "better keep friends close & enemies closer", this is wise & recommended & MS can now control the hacking community that way ...

I think i said so in 1 of my post (don't remember if here though), MS or Nintendo should hire this guy now but still no one should encourage future hackers to proceed that way, for it will be like cyber terrorism.

well, i hope this goes for the best & now if Geohot wants to prove himself mature, come on now, we challenge you to create an external software based protection system for all devices you hacked, for me a great hacker is someone that can create a chaos & the antidote ... else it's just a fool 'fooling' around

cheers!

Guest said:

If there's any truth to this, Brandon Watson is probably getting his *** grilled by his boss. No company will officially volunteer to share the spot light in a high profile and negative publicity lawsuit.

Guest said:

For the people that MSFT is aiming at (the not-so-compliant poweruser that have actually made MSFT big as they currently are in the first place) -- the only people getting negative publicity in the GeoHot case are Sony and Apple. And M$ is in dire need of more friends from that user pond since their own business moves in years passed have made them the antichrist of software world along with begginings of them becoming irrelevant in what software world is becoming (cloud and mobile).

Sony and Apple want consumers. Linux/FSF world wants user-developers. MSFT has always been the smart one in aiming that populace which might not be largest or the most tech-savvy, but is most vocal and most opinion-shifting -- the power-user who is not affraid to tweak and tinker, but won't really get under the hood and mess with cogs and bolts.

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