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Microsoft Windows

Microsoft To Disable Windows Phone 7 Unlocking 237

Posted by samzenpus
from the unlock-blocker dept.
Alex writes "In the first update to Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is planning to block ChevronWP7, which allowed users to unlock any retail Windows Phone 7 device for application side-loading without having to pay $99 per year for a WP7 marketplace account. The update, which is slated for release this month, will also introduce copy and paste functionality, among other improvements. ChevronWP7 was discontinued less than a week after its release about two months ago. ChevronWP7's three developers, Long Zheng, Rafael Rivera, and Chris Walsh were approached by Brandon Watson, Director of Developer Experience for Windows Phone 7, and decided to kill their app."
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Microsoft To Disable Windows Phone 7 Unlocking

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  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @06:49PM (#34855242)

    So how much did they get for this?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @06:54PM (#34855306)

      Unbroken kneecaps, unslashed tires, and a partially unburned-down house.

    • RTA (Score:3, Informative)

      by cpu6502 (1960974)

      "Zheng, Rivera, and Walsh have said Microsoft wants them to become more involved with the shaping of the homebrew scene on the Windows Phone platform, but ChevronWP7 will not be the way to do so. In fact, the trio has a meeting with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 team next week in Redmond, and they will be focusing on homebrew as well as stronger protection of WP7 developer intellectual property."

      • Re:RTA (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @07:03PM (#34855418) Journal

        Translation: They were bought off.

        • Re:RTA (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @07:09PM (#34855482) Journal

          No, no, no, no, no....you misunderstand. They were HIRED. Yes, hired, because of their "potential" to add to the company. Of course, MS hasn't figured out what their job descriptions will be, but still. Being hired for a job you don't go to is completely different than "bought off". Completely different. Really.

          • Re:RTA (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Junta (36770) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @08:27PM (#34856264)

            Presumably hired to patch any apparent 'exploits' they would have otherwise caught.

            Not a big fan of this, but it is more than a shade better than Sony trying to sue their problems out of existence.

          • No, no, no, no, no....you misunderstand. They were HIRED. Yes, hired, because of their "potential" to add to the company. Of course, MS hasn't figured out what their job descriptions will be, but still. Being hired for a job you don't go to is completely different than "bought off". Completely different. Really.

            Well, there's the Homer Simpson by-out, as precedent.

            There's also a position in Ballmer's office for Chair Repairman. Probably masonry work there, too, for the damage to walls when he throws one.

          • by Stregano (1285764)

            Being hired for a job you don't go to is completely different than "bought off". Completely different. Really.

            Not really. You get bought off and then become "sell outs" and work for them. It is 2 things wrapped into 1. Bought off, and sold out.

        • by PhxBlue (562201)

          Translation: They were assimilated.

          FTFY.

        • I'm not surprised MS bought them off. I wouldn't be surprised of any corporation acting in the same manner. That makes me suspicious. If you need to pay a developer license fee to unlock your phone, it's a pretty clear indication what the vendor thinks of that ability. ChevronWP7 is such a clear contradiction of that -- regardless of what we think of it politically -- that the developers couldn't possibly have thought MS would react in any other way. Could this have been their plan all along? It's a g

      • Re:RTA (Score:5, Insightful)

        by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @07:07PM (#34855464)

        I love the doublethink there; "and they will be focusing on homebrew as well as stronger protection of WP7 developer intellectual property."

        It's one or the other kids. They were bought off.

        • by Microlith (54737)

          So obviously Microsoft thinks that the future of mobile computing is that of entirely vendor-controlled console-style hardware.

          Thanks but fuck you Microsoft.

          • Re:RTA (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Junta (36770) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @08:29PM (#34856286)

            More like they *want* the future to be vendor-controlled. They always hoped that, but never thought the consumers to be *that* self-destructive until Apple essentially did it. Now they hope they can ape Apple's success on that front.

          • by tepples (727027)
            It's not really "console-style". If it were "console-style", there wouldn't be a $99/yr developer program open to the public. Instead, each developer would have to be an established business with a dedicated secure office and relevant industry experience, as seen in Nintendo's criteria [warioworld.com].
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by Lead Butthead (321013)

        stronger protection of WP7 developer intellectual property

        Translation: Kill the application and we won't sue. Otherwise by the time we're through with you, you'll wish you've never even conceived of this application. Sure we might not win, be we'll make sure the stress induced shave a good five or ten years off your natural life expectancy.

    • He made them an offer they couldn't refuse.

  • Who wants to bet it was intentional that this poison pill was put into the package that includes copy and paste?

    Or even that copy and paste was held back for this reason?
  • Brandon Watson made them an offer they couldn't refuse?

    • Ballmer mailed them a picture of a chair flying at their photoshopped heads, and they threw up a white flag immediately.
  • What about the law that says you have the right to unlock your own phone?

    • by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @06:55PM (#34855310)

      What about the law that says you have the right to unlock your own phone?

      You still have that right. But there's no law that says the manufacturer has to make it easy for you.

      • by PitaBred (632671)

        There are laws that say a car manufacturer can't refuse to honor a warranty if you do work yourself, as well as various other things to keep from locking you into dealer-only service. Why are electronics different?

    • by grapeape (137008)

      There is no law stating they have to provide you access to do so...just that you can do what you want with your phone...your still free to look for or build another solution, just no Chevron. Rather suprising move though, you would think MS would overlook this simply for fear of upseting and driving away an already fragile userbase.

    • by OverlordQ (264228)

      It's not a law, it was just an exemption to the DMCA. read more [eff.org]. And it only covers you and your phone, not the people that write the tools you use.

      • It's not a law, it was just an exemption to the DMCA. read more [eff.org]. And it only covers you and your phone, not the people that write the tools you use.

        And the exception is only temporary. With a few years of 20 20 hindsight, we can now see that DMCA has not yielded real benefits to anybody but lawyers, thugs and would be monopolists. DMCA is not a law, it is pure evil.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      It's your property, assuming you bought one, and you can do whatever you like with your property, provided that there isn't a law against that. I think that's a point that's been lost in recent years, once you sell somebody a product, it's theirs to do with as they see fit. Even if what they wish to do is burn it, bury it or grind it into a fine powder.

      That's how property works, if they're not actually providing you with that freedom, then they ought to be brought up on fraud charges.
      • by v1 (525388)

        Ahh but then that little nagging issue of "Licensing" comes up. That's where you don't own it, you're paying to borrow it. And in that case they're allowed to dictate terms of use of their property.

        But then all the consumers don't want software to be licensable, and all corporations do, and you know who wins that war.

    • by Microlith (54737)

      It's not your phone. It's Microsoft's.

      If it wasn't, they wouldn't be acting like they owned it by placing locks on it only they have the key for.

  • ...to the ms greed factory. Cut me a check, too. I won't create whatever workaround is required to bypass your nonexistent security whenever you announce your next yearly tax for services that would have retained more users, provided more profit, and maintained a higher level of user interaction if you simply provided it for free; like everybody else.
  • I might be upset (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @06:59PM (#34855366) Homepage Journal

    If I was to have a Win7 device.

    But as I view Win7 devices as akin to strolling about town with an albatross around my neck, it ain't gonna ever happen.

    So I'm not going to be upset.

    Isn't that wonderful? Just think, one less totally $#*(@% pissed off person in the world. (c:

  • by Maltheus (248271) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @07:06PM (#34855450)

    ...until a few more suckers bought their product first? Consider it a loss leader. Are they so optimistic that they're gonna win against android and apple, that they can already afford to alienate their user base?

    • by jonwil (467024)

      Microsoft cant allow side-loading in its current form because it would cause major backlash from carrier partners concerned about things not otherwise permitted (e.g. tethering) as well as from vendors releasing paid software in the marketplace concerned about piracy.

      I suspect Microsoft wants to allow side-loading but only if they can lock things down enough.

      • by Mr2001 (90979)

        Microsoft cant allow side-loading in its current form because it would cause major backlash from carrier partners concerned about things not otherwise permitted (e.g. tethering) as well as from vendors releasing paid software in the marketplace concerned about piracy.

        That doesn't make any sense, because those carriers all have Android phones already. Where were the concerns about side-loading when they added those?

        • by jonwil (467024)

          Why do you think AT&T has asked manufacturers to disable side-loading on every android handset they sell?

  • Idiot phone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by syousef (465911) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @07:10PM (#34855490) Journal

    Fundamental question: What makes a smart phone smart? Answer: Ability to run applications you want that actually improve your life in some small way. Taking away the ability and deciding for me what apps I can run and at what cost is a dealbreaker. Same reason I won't touch an iPhone no matter how many lame fart apps appear for it. DRM lockdown turns a smart phone into an idiot phone -a dumb piece of shit. Certainly not worth hundreds of dollars to me. Microsoft, keep it, and shove it!

    • by zmollusc (763634)

      Heh. Well put. I chose android on my last handset upgrade for similar reasons, even though I haven't got any apps except from the marketplace. To hell with DRM.
       

  • Is microsoft becoming more evil by the day? At least they could never possibly catch up to Apple's stream of pure evil. If you can't buy something and do whatever the fuck you want with it, as long as that whatever doesn't hurt other people, then it is a ripoff, a scam, a dirty lie, a DRM infested horses shit-hole at best, and extremely evil at worst. Go android.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Google tracks you. Apple walls you in via its glp vs App Store DRM vision. MS wants you to use its tools to value/shine via their limited 'home brew' marketing efforts.
      Another deep fear of MS would be the digging down to hardware that was sealed off for value added teclo partners. They get full camera use, you dont.
      Sony will rootkit you, Amazon will reach in and remove your ebooks.
      What is left? A large cash payment for a pure Linux phone?
      • Google may track you, but you have some control over how much data they collect on you, and they don't have a history of using that data for evil. Sony has become so evil in how they operate the PS3 market that it is absolutely disgusting, and definitely illegal, although they will never see the consequences (reducing functionality of a sold product, which is about 10 kinds of advertising fraud). Microsoft has a very creepy intent to just crawl into everything you do and collect information on you that you

    • Is microsoft becoming more evil by the day?

      However evil this latest stunt may be, its also an own goal and as far as I'm concerned, Microsoft is welcome to score as many own goals as it wants.

  • Thankfully Palm tells you how to do this for free on any WebOS device. Download the tools for free and install your own apps over a USB cable. I think someone actually has a way of doing this wireless too.

    http://developer.palm.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1552&Itemid=59#dev_mode [palm.com]

    Really nice OS, sensible company. Pitiful marketshare. :(

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Android does not even need that. Just check one box and install any apk you want.

    • And hopefully they'll continue to do so.

      My N900 [nokia.com] allowed me to trivially gain root access by enabling a repository and installing a package that enabled root access. I was able to then add additional repositories and do whatever the hell I wanted.

      I don't expect it to always be that easy, and would prefer at least a hardware latch before such activation (proper security with strong defaults) but there should ALWAYS be an "opt-out" for users to assume. The vast majority won't, but it'll keep the handful that w

  • What the hell is wrong with the major phone OS's these days - iOS, Android and Windows Mobile 7 all being initially released without freaking copy and paste. I had that on my shitty palm m100 about 15 years ago.

    Grrr! Try typing in a 64 character WPA key without it.

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