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Windows Phone Unlock Tool Goes Official 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the wait-what dept.
judgecorp writes "A tool to unlock (or 'jailbreak' if you like) Windows Phone devices is now available with Microsoft's blessing. ChevronWP7 Labs was withdrawn at Microsoft's request a year ago, but is back now, allowing users to run any app on their phones for a cost of $9."
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Windows Phone Unlock Tool Goes Official

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  • But Microsoft withdrew it a year ago.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by dyingtolive (1393037)
      Shit, I actually got first post. I guess I get downmodded now, right? :(
      • by grcumb (781340)

        Shit, I actually got first post. I guess I get downmodded now, right? :(

        No, but you owe us $9.00.

        sincerely,
        The Slashdot App Store.

        • you are about to be sued by apple for use of "app" and "store" in the same sentence with out the words apple, ios, mac, or itunes fallowed by a (TM).

  • Seriously? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by masternerdguy (2468142) on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:49PM (#37978372)
    It's sad when Microsoft is more forward thinking than Apple isn't it.
    • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nepka (2501324) on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:51PM (#37978396)
      Microsoft has always been. Windows is practically open platform and the mobile versions have always been too. Not in the open source sense, but users are free to install and do what they want. Apple is the only company that wants to control that.
      • by arunce (1934350)

        As an opensource user I must agree with you.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Imbrondir (2367812)

        It's a horrible day for software freedom in general when Microsoft gets applauded for charging you 9$ to install applications on a device that you already own.

        • by eht (8912)

          It doesn't look like Microsoft is charging you 9$ to install this application, it looks like a third party is charging you 9$ to do it and Microsoft doesn;t have a problem with either the application or charging you 9$. If you want to write your own app to do the same thing and release it for free, go right ahead.

      • Microsoft has always been. Windows is practically open platform and the mobile versions have always been too.

        WP7 was not an open platform until today (hence why we have TFA). So, wrong.

      • Not really. It was Microsoft that was taken to court for hiding aspects of its API to keep a competitive edge over everyone else. They've used more closed formats to lock you into their systems where as Apple has even open sourced their ALAC format.

        MS knows they won't stop jail breaking so they're just trying to profit from it by charging you for the tool. I expect them to still shit their pants if someone makes a free alternative.
        • by colesw (951825)
          Well except for the fact they aren't charging you for the tool, a third party is. So I doubt they'd care if someone else makes an alternative free program.
      • by Tharsman (1364603)

        Apple is the only company that wants to control that.

        And Nintendo.
        And Sony.
        And Motorola (and Google claims they will be allowed to "just be".)
        And Microsoft when it comes to the XBox.

        But yea other than them, only Apple.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mr1911 (1942298)
      Not so much forward thinking as trying to do whatever it takes to catch up in the market.

      I doubt Microsoft would take such an action if their phone and apps store commanded the same market share as Apple's.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Desler (1608317)

        Why? WinMo allowed you to install what you wanted without having to use an app store and to create apps you could use anything language that could be used for regular windows development. Apple's marketshare and app store success is the reason wp7 is more locked down.

        • Windows mobile was a desktop OS put on a mobile phone and it sucked which is why it wasn't popular. Yes it allowed you to install what you want but one bonus against dozens of negatives didn't help. His point still stands that MS is playing catch up. WP7 was locked down like Apple's iphone. Now they're trying to be like Google and be ok with jail breaking but of course they're charing for that benefit.
      • by ackthpt (218170)

        Not so much forward thinking as trying to do whatever it takes to catch up in the market.

        I doubt Microsoft would take such an action if their phone and apps store commanded the same market share as Apple's.

        Yeah, next thing you know, they'll put a giant Windows Phone in Times Square, or something else nearly as tacky.

    • by Desler (1608317)

      Microsoft has always had a more open ecosystem for their OS both on the desktop and on phones than apple ever was. It's just sad they went more closed with wp7 since.winmo was so open (both in respects to installing anything you wanted and in using a huge variety of languages to create apps).

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      It's sad when Microsoft is more forward thinking than Apple isn't it.

      Pfft. Microsoft is desperate to get into the "Smart Phone" market. They're so far out of the running I'm surprised they aren't having a "2-for-1" sale.

  • by Superken7 (893292) on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:52PM (#37978410) Journal

    I would not have expected this sort of news from Microsoft a decade ago. Then again, maybe we are getting too used to Apple.

    I think this is a nice move by MS :)

    • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Monday November 07, 2011 @05:24PM (#37978824)

      You would not have expected Microsoft a decade ago to release an open operating system while Apple released a vertically integrated and closed down market?

      Microsoft is many things, but bending over backwards to let anything run on their systems (including malware) has been one of the greatest strengths and weaknesses since the beginning.

      • by Microlith (54737)

        This isn't an "open" system by any stretch of the imagination. It's basically charging people $9 for the ability to sideload software, something Android enables via a checkbox. The security systems remain 100% in force.

        I'd be impressed if it put the user in control of the security systems, rather than let Microsoft retain that control (oh, and if it were free and not $9.)

        • Mod parent up

          How is demanding 9$ for the "privilege" to install up to 10 unapproved apps anywhere close to "bending over backwards to let anything run on their systems"?

        • by Stonent1 (594886)
          Unforunately not all android devices have the checkbox. The HTC Aria on AT&T was one of them as well as some of the low-end motorola devices.
          • by Microlith (54737)

            That's AT&T being a bunch of assholes though, not a matter of policy set by the OS vendor.

      • by blarkon (1712194)
        Steve Jobs designed the Mac so that it could only be opened by special tools. So it's more that Apple has "controlled the whole wigit" (with a brief period of licensing to clones when Jobs wasn't in charge) since then. The Apple II was open - but since then, not so much.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Riceballsan (816702)
      Microsoft has never been the direction apple is. While shutting out competition was always a strong stance of theirs. Preventing competition from running on their OS or any devices they run has never been a high priority. I do have to admit, Xbox is probably the most independent developer friendly console (out of the top 3 competitors of course), Microsoft has never attempted to discourage people from using any software on windows. That is kinda how MS kicked apples ass back in the day. (Macs were strongly
      • by matrim99 (123693)

        That is kinda how MS kicked apples ass back in the day. (Macs were strongly against allowing competition to design hardware, Microsoft encoraged a huge compeating pricewar to drive down hardware prices and boost software sales.)

        sed s/MS/IBM

        FTFY

        • by tepples (727027)
          Microsoft encouraged the price war by being willing to license MS-DOS to any company that made a PC with a remotely IBM-compatible BIOS. IBM didn't want openness; in fact, it tried to charge back-royalties on ISA to anyone making MCA cards.
        • by Carewolf (581105)

          sed s/MS/IBM
          FTFY

          IBM was the hardware manufacturer, it was IBM who lost money when the hardware competitors came in, and MS that benefited.

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        Microsoft encouraged openness and competition on the hardware front so they could sneak in the back door and obtain lock-in via software instead... It worked largely because at the time software was perceived as a very small cheap component of an expensive hardware bundle, especially when you could pirate the software.

  • It's a scam (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    You pay the $9 to run your own apps on the phone, right. But only atmost 5 of them. Yes, there is a limit on the number of apps you are allowed to run on your very own phone. And you have to pay for that. Pathetic.

    • Yeah, this is honestly offensive. Microsoft, you can do what you like, but don't piss in my face and call it rain.
  • Windows is to big for app store lock down anit trust laws is one thing.

    But the app store system should only block apps that can damage the system not adult games / pron apps.

  • It if allows unchecked code, it doesn't appear to be that much different than the previous version aside from version differences.

    Hopefully it has no restrictions on what code can be done, thus being as full of an unlock as the previous one was. Otherwise it still makes ChevronWP7 another "embrace, extend, extinguish" job.

    • Unfortunately, there's a barrier in Mango (whether you use the marketplace developer account dev-unlock, which has been available from day 1, or ChevronWP7 Labs which is essentially the same thing from the phone's perspective) that prevents apps from getting high-permission access (specificlaly, prevents opening a handle on a driver, which is the standard way to break out of the low-privilege app sandbox on WP7). To do this, an app needs to specify the "INTEROPSERVICES" capability in its manifest, and by default Mango blocks installing or running non-marketplace apps with this capability. NoDo and below did not - that's how people were able to do file browsers, registry editors, tethering apps, and so forth - but this restriction is part of Mango.

      You can still run some homebrew apps, including native code, but only with low permissions. While it's useful to know there's limits on what an app can do, I'd really like to be able to remove those limits on apps I trust. A webserver that demonstrates access to the full socket API, including TCP server sockets (the official API only has client sockets) is cool, but there's a lot more that you could do.

      Fortunately, there's a way around this restiction also built into the OS. The process of removing this restriction is called "interop-unlock" by the guys who discovered it, and is possible easily on LG phones (change the MaxUnsignedApp registry value to 300 or more using the built-in registry editor), possible on Samsung phones (instructions and app here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1271963 [xda-developers.com]), and difficult if possible at all on HTC phones (requires rolling back to pre-Mango, which isn't possible on new devices). No solution at all for Dell, Toshiba, or Nokia yet.

  • by gcnaddict (841664) on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:58PM (#37978500)
    Rafael Rivera generally tends to hold a good deal of trust and clout amongst Windows enthusiasts (shock and awe that there's such a crowd, I know) in that he's known specifically for thoroughly investigating a product. He always produces a high quality service, product, workaround, etc. for whatever his project happens to be, and has provided many of the safe patches that unlock hidden functionality during previous Windows alpha and beta releases.

    His involvement in this project and in other general Windows reverse-engineering gigs in the past leads me to believe that ChevronWP7 is a solid and safe release. The fact that Microsoft endorsed this is not at all a surprise.
  • The main thing I use my Android phone for is playing chess against the computer while recumbent on the couch. Nine dollars seems a bit ridiculous.
  • Microsoft jailbreaks you!

    But seriously, this "jailbreak" is a Microsoft-sanctioned app that costs $9 and requires you to log-in to windows live... Doesn't sound like a jailbreak to me. Sounds like something that Microsoft should have BEEN OFFERING IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    Whats that, we get to run whatever app we want on the computer we bought? THANKS MICROSOFT! Hey, it beats the $99 yearly fee to get a dev licence.
    Seriously? Do they not want people developing for their platform? (oh, that's right, they only
    • But seriously, this "jailbreak" is a Microsoft-sanctioned app that costs $9 and requires you to log-in to windows live... Doesn't sound like a jailbreak to me. Sounds like something that Microsoft should have BEEN OFFERING IN THE FIRST PLACE.

      Paying $9 to be able to run whatever shit you like compares remarkably favourably with Apple's "fuck you" policy towards unsigned apps, in which you can do it if you want but only if you hack the damn device, and then expect it to break the next time iOS updates. It doe

      • It doesn't make them the best by a long shot (BlackBerry and Android win that handily)

        Truth.

        At least, unlike Apple, they give you a legitimate way to do it.

        Neither should be acceptable.

    • by LiroXIV (2362610)

      Whats that, we get to run whatever app we want on the computer we bought? THANKS MICROSOFT! Hey, it beats the $99 yearly fee to get a dev licence.

      Ubuntu 12.04 Gold Pass: run up to 10 packages not from the Software Centre: only $10

  • Aren't jailbreaking and unlocking different? Calibrating refers to being able to execute cystine programs on your phone, whereas unlocking allows one to use any carrier. I think this article is referring to jailbreaking.

    • by Mogusha (1091607)
      Stupid phone. Calibrating == jailbreaking.
      • Calibrating works just fine. To check or adjust your device until it performs correctly.
        • by Mogusha (1091607)
          I think you missunderstood the last post. I was refering to the word "Calibrating" in the parent. As it was posted using my phone autocorrect decided to change "jailbreaking" into "Calibrating". This change wasn't what I had intended, and, while admitedly, I should have checked the post to ensure that none of those really obvious substitutions was present, it was there and I attempted to make the post less obsfuscated. I suppose an assignment would have been more appropriate to help with understanding, or p
  • A tool to unlock (or 'jailbreak' if you like) Windows Phone devices

    I don't know if this is global or local parlance, but over here "unlock" generally refers to removing the SIM-lock from a locked phone, enabling the use of SIMs from any service provider. This is in most cases a breach of contract with the original service provider, unless the contract has since expired.

    Jailbreaking refers exclusively to the removal of any restrictions to the installation of applications. Granted, in most cases one has to jailbreak the phone to unlock it, since the unlocking software is gen

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