ChevronWP7 Labs: a Microsoft-approved Windows Phone 7 unlocking service

By on June 20, 2011, 2:30 PM

ChevronWP7's three developers, Long Zheng, Rafael Rivera, and Chris Walsh, have announced ChevronWP7 Labs, a Windows Phone unlocking service that requires a small fee via PayPal. Most importantly, Microsoft has approved this device unlocking solution, which will be available to developers across all skill levels and all regions. While this is good news, it's rather frustrating that there is no timeline for when to expect this service, though it's not too big a surprise, since Microsoft is now actively participating in the process.

"The service will require a small fee — currently via PayPal — to offset costs but we assure you it will be more affordable than the App Hub," the ChevronWP7 team said in a statement. "Those who wish to write and immediately publish apps are recommended to sign up to the App Hub instead. We're excited to be making this service available to users with the support of the Windows Phone team."

The news follows a long period of silence regarding the homebrew scene for Windows Phone 7. Five months ago, the ChevronWP7 team met for two full days with various members of the Windows Phone 7 team. They discussed homebrew support for the platform, why it's important, the groups of people it affects, its direct and indirect benefits, and how to manage any risks. The two groups agreed to develop Windows Phone 7 homebrew support together, but nothing was heard since. Now we know that they're still working on it, but beyond the fact that it will cost you a little, we don't know much more.

Last year, ChevronWP7 was discontinued less than a week after its release. ChevronWP7's three developers were approached by Brandon Watson, Director of Developer Experience for Windows Phone 7, and told to kill their app. In return, Microsoft agreed to allow them to become more involved with the shaping of the homebrew scene on the Windows Phone platform, but emphasized that the ChevronWP7 tool would not be the way to do so.




User Comments: 8

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Guest said:

Sony should take a lesson from Microsoft.

*goes back into dark hole and waits for the next Sony attack*

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Whichever executive at MS is responsible for this embracing of the homebrew community, as evidenced by this, and the Kinect situation, really deserves a big thumbs up.

Its to be expected they're going to proceed at a glacial pace as MS usually does, but still, the tanker is slowly turning in the right direction.

Considering that the mobile OS market is shaping up to be as much about ideology as technology, its a smart move.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

+1 gwail

As one recent survey concluded that WP is the second most favored platform behind android for application developers, I think, decisions like this will help them improve their position a lot. Also, I think they should cut the OS 'price overhead' for the manufacturers which will be a huge plus as well.

Guest said:

Wow isn't MS paying them enough..

MS locks the phones, sells them, and then users pay AGAIN to get them unlocked. Splendid.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

By the way guest every manufacturer sell 'locked' smartphones.............

Guest said:

@Archean true. But nowhere do we pay to get them unlocked again. IMHO the whole sense of homebrew is that it is done outside the device manufacturer's realm of control. If it isn't then the way I see it, it's just an extension of being "stock". Developers should be given the freedom to manipulate their device (software as well as hardware) whatever way they see fit within its capabilities, rather than have the manufacturer "approve" of every mod they do.

I don't resent MS for what they're doing at all. It's just that the idea of manufacturer-sponsored homebrew just doesn't sound right to me.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well there was a reason I agreed with gwail's comments. Especially this one:

Its to be expected they're going to proceed at a glacial pace as MS usually does, but still, the tanker is slowly turning in the right direction.

May be in due course of time they i.e. MS (and others) will realize that once they sell a device it becomes property of the owner, and as long as the user stay within a reason they should be allowed to do whatever they want to do with it, including unlocking.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guest said:

I don't resent MS for what they're doing at all. It's just that the idea of manufacturer-sponsored homebrew just doesn't sound right to me.

Right, but the whole reason why it was called "homebrew" in the first place was because the manufacturers would not support it, all the way to the SCOTUS in some cases.

But, realistically speaking, there needs to be some manufacturer oversight these days as our computer software has become so complicated, and security has become such an issue, that for the average user (not someone on these boards in other words), its much better for the manufacturer to at least keep an eye on things.

The average user would overclock their phone ("Wow, double the speed, cool!), and then proceed to call their phone carrier to complain about poor battery life.

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