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Microsoft Cellphones Windows

Windows Phone Homebrew Hits a Snag 185

Posted by Soulskill
from the freedom-for-some dept.
symbolset writes "TheNextWeb is reporting that the first official jailbreak for Windows Phone 7, ChevronWP7, has 'sold out' of tokens to enable homebrew application support. Only 10,000 tokens to jailbreak Windows Phones were ever granted. According to an announcement through ChevronWP7's Twitter feed, they're discussing whether they will ask Microsoft to make more available. With Lumia falling flat in Europe Microsoft needs all the enthusiastic modding fans they can get."
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Windows Phone Homebrew Hits a Snag

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  • ChevronWP7 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Monday January 02, 2012 @03:26PM (#38565282) Journal
    ChevronWP7 wasn't a jailbreak, it didn't give you control over the phone. All it really did was give you the rights of a developer account, without paying for it.

    Those of us who were waiting for a true jailbreak, with native-code execution and control of the system, were sorely disappointed that ChevronWP7 got so much publicity, because after that, people stopped working on trying to really jailbreak the phone. It was sad.
    • Re:ChevronWP7 (Score:4, Informative)

      by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Monday January 02, 2012 @03:38PM (#38565396) Homepage

      If you've got a Samsung phone, head on over to WindowBreak [windowsphonehacker.com]. It'll give you developer access and native execution abilities, even starting from a locked-down 7.5 (Mango).

      • From your linked website:

        It also is not a full unlock. Just interop.

        You're right it's way better than ChevronWP7, and the original people who did that work should get way more credit than the people who came out with ChevronWP7, but it's not full access. You're still locked out of the system.

        • Re:ChevronWP7 (Score:5, Informative)

          by cbhacking (979169) <<moc.oohay> <ta> ... isiurc_tuo_neeb>> on Monday January 02, 2012 @09:31PM (#38568298) Homepage Journal

          What do you mean, locked out of the system? Use WindowBreak, then go install WP7 Root Tools (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1265321) using the free dev tools for app deployment. You'll have access to almost anything, limited only by what the dev of WP7 Root Tools has implemented so far. There are a handful of other apps out there that will also work, such as from http://touchxperience.com/ [touchxperience.com] and elsewhere on the XDA-Devs WP7 hacking forum (http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=606).

          WindowBreak is an easy way to "interop-unlock" a Windows phone. Interop-unlock means you can can install and run apps that call into high-privilege drivers, breaking out of their sandboxes. Immediately, that opens up a lot of potential, but it also means you can run code as TCB (the WP7 equivalent of "root" or "Administrator"). Apps like WP7 Root Tools take advantage of this to enable a wide variety of functionality, though the current version only enables doing so on Samsung phones (the high-privilege drivers being different from each OEM).

          Incidentally, there are other ways to interop-unlock other phones. LG phones actually ship with a built-in registry editor that can be used to dev-unlock (install app packages) and interop-unlock (install high-privilege homebrew packages) the phones - there's absolutely no need for ChevronWP7 or the official AppHub account (which does the same thing, plus allowing you to submit apps to the Marketplace). HTC phones (the first-generation ones) can be interop-unlocked if they are already dev-unlocked. Their bootloaders can also be "unlocked" to allow custom updates (modify the current ROM) or full custom ROMs, with most of the latter having excellent support for homebrew (the kinds of changes that WP7 Root Tools can make being applied by default, obviously already being interop-unlocked, and having the ability to install app packages directly from the phone without needing a PC).

          Nokia, Dell, and Toshiba/Fujitsu phones do not have known interop-unlocks yet, nor do second-generation HTC phones. People are working on this, though.

          • WindowBreak is an easy way to "interop-unlock" a Windows phone. Interop-unlock means you can can install and run apps that call into high-privilege drivers, breaking out of their sandboxes. Immediately, that opens up a lot of potential, but it also means you can run code as TCB (the WP7 equivalent of "root" or "Administrator").

            That's good to know, I'll look into it when I get a chance.

      • With the WP7 public stunts like those found on YouTube and the Mango reference dredging up Saturday Night Live memories involving a lovers' quarrel between Chris Kattan and Garth Brooks, WP7 is dead to me. I have no choice but to distance it from my person.

    • by ausrob (864993)
      Yup, and the dead givaway that this wasn't a real jailbreak was: "they're discussing whether they will ask Microsoft to make more available".
    • I am curious why you got a Windows Phone if you were so interested in running native code and controlling the system. There are plenty of options out there for people who want full access to the system and with Windows Phone Microsoft actually markets the lack of access as kind of a feature. I am pretty happy with my Windows Phone but I cannot understand why people who care about full access would buy it.

      • Some people like to get things just to play with them and see what they can do. As my personal phone I have an old-fashioned feature phone, which I've gold plated (literally.....the gold-leaf is only $10 if you know how to do it).

        In my case, I'm lucky enough to have a job that pays me to do this. I usually have half-a-dozen different smart phones/tablets on my desk, some of which are pre-release. I spent some time hacking WP7, but once it became apparent that the marketshare would be small, I returned to
    • by MrCrassic (994046)
      Even worse, the ability for users to "Interop Unlock" their phones was mostly based on the manufacturer. I think there is one available for Samsung and LG; HTC got the shaft after the Mango update.

      Read on for more information: Click here [xda-developers.com]
      • Yeap, and interop unlock wasn't that great anyway. The only advantage it gave, as far as I could find, was allowing you to have full network access, instead of the silverlight broken network API. Which was something, but not much.
    • because after that, people stopped working on trying to really jailbreak the phone. It was sad.

      Sounds like brilliant strategy to me.

  • I bought a Nokia N9 on the grey market to add to my collection of Maemo phones. I have an N770, N800, N900, and now an N9. What really surprised me is that the N9 is beautiful, the OS is great, and the screens are beautiful. People would have loved the N9 if they were able to buy it. Elop certainly made sure it was not only dead, but he had Nokia use up the N9 parts (except the processor) building that Lumina 800 thing.

    If I had my way at Nokia. They would still do what they do best making beautiful hardware

    • Fight piracy ! use the original N9 one ... dont buy crappy copies such as that sandboxed toy for lamers I will ignore WP7 untill someone port a decent framework like Qt or native dll ...
    • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki.cox@net> on Monday January 02, 2012 @04:14PM (#38565658)

      But your approach would bankrupt the company. Prior to Elop taking over, it was pretty damn clear Symbian, MeeGo/Maemo/Harmatten was doomed.

      I think you're right that Microsoft played some dirty tricks with Elop(the conflicts of interest are glaring), but I think you're wrong that WinPhone 7 is junk.

      The problem with Nokia is that they dont' have any clear vision. The N9 is clearly an example. If I was Elop anything that wasn't Windows Phone or feature phone would've had the axe immediately. Hell, I would axe shitty feature phones. I know the impact on emerging regions would be horrific, but, take the current designs, open them up to local firms and have them build it. It's clear that feature phones with slim margins isn't going to keep the company afloat.

      • Doomed perhaps but Symbian and Meego were/are open source.

        If Nokia cared about homebrew, they'd stick to a common hardware roadmap for all their future devices. Providing WP7 with an open boatloader and employing a skeleton staff to assist with driver development for meego/symbian/webos/android would go a long way to regaining the trust of those burnt by the 'Qt4 on everything' about face.

        Do Cyanogenmodders represent anything of a market share? My next phone will likely be an HTC but if Nokia were to provid

      • by Asic Eng (193332)

        Well, with MeeGo they had a powerful partner who had a strong interest for Nokia to succeed. They also had a clear upgrade path from Symbian and developers to support that. The strategy was sound, they did fail to deliver on it in time, though. So granted they had a problem.

        However Elop's approach was to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Nokia is now completely depended on the strategy of another company - which in turn does not depend on Nokia at all. MS will happily supply WP7 to other vendors, and

        • Nokia is now completely depended on the strategy of another company - which in turn does not depend on Nokia at all.

          Although Microsoft can and does distribute WP7 to other companies, I think you are wrong that Microsoft does not need Nokia - and they know it. They very badly need a high-quality phone to make headway in the market and without Nokia they would simply be DOA with phones out from a few vendors as an afterthought.

          Nokia and Microsoft pairing up as they have gives both of them a chance to get b

          • by Asic Eng (193332)

            So what does MS give Nokia which they don't give other phone vendors? Quite apart from the fact that MS has other revenue streams. They are not dependent on Nokia, even if Nokia is useful for them.

            Also Omnia 7 and Titan are available. If people want WP7 phones there is good hardware to chose from. Nokia just came out with their stuff, but Samsung and HTC are bound to have new phones in the pipe.

      • by steelfood (895457)

        Prior to Elop taking over, it was pretty damn clear Symbian, MeeGo/Maemo/Harmatten was doomed.

        I'm not sure about that. Immediately prior to Elop, Nokia had just bought QT. Nokia was about to go all-in into MeeGo.

        You're right about them lacking a clear vision though. If they really wanted to compete, they would've cut Symbia and put MeeGo on every device. Instead of having a billion product lines, have three or four, with officially bundled add-ons (that could be bought separately) for specific markets.

        Then, they should've dumped all of their marketing budget into these phones, made sure their develo

      • The problem with Nokia is that they dont' have any clear vision. The N9 is clearly an example. If I was Elop anything that wasn't Windows Phone or feature phone would've had the axe immediately.

        I think that would be a huge, monumental mistake. N9 is selling rather well, while the Lumia devices have, basically, flopped during the holiday season.

      • by dbIII (701233)

        Prior to Elop taking over, it was pretty damn clear Symbian, MeeGo/Maemo/Harmatten was doomed.

        Really? They were selling more phones than anybody else. You can segment things all you like until something else comes up as a winner in some segment but that distracts from the total. It's been downhill from there but since they sell so much stuff Elop will take a long time to kill Nokia if that's actually what he intends to do.
        However, I really do not understand why the MeeGo/Maemo/Harmatten stuff was sold al

        • Half of Nokia's problem was the fact that they basically wrote off the US as a market, without grasping that its mindshare and influence was several orders of magnitude greater than the number of phones sold might otherwise suggest. Symbian for all intents and purposes didn't exist in the US (I think Sony-Ericsson had a few that could do 3G on AT&T, and limp along with EDGE on T-Mobile, if you paid $800 to import one) , and as a practical matter neither did Nokia phones capable of doing anything better

      • by Error27 (100234)

        But your approach would bankrupt the company.

        It would be hard to hurt the company more than Elop has. He has set a historic world record for destroying market share. RIM would have set the record by just muddling along without a good strategy but Elop managed to outdo them. They deliberately didn't sell the n9. How stupid is that?

    • "No one really wants WP7, and it just isn't very good."

      Speak for yourself, sir. Clearly at least 10k rooting customers disagree and I as well.

      I just ordered a WP7 phone. Not so much because I think it's the Best Phone OS Ever Made(TM), but because I feel like trying something different after using iPhone since the 3G came out. Since I have an iPhone 4 through work I thought it would be fun to try out WP7 on my personal number. Bought a mid-range phone (Omnia W) so I don't waste too much money if I end up no

  • by MrCrassic (994046) <<li.ame> <ta> <detacerped>> on Monday January 02, 2012 @05:50PM (#38566430) Journal
    Two months ago, I traded my wonderful G2 for a HD7 to get a taste of the Windows Phone experience. I've used Windows Mobile since the 2003 version on the MPx200 (solid flip-phone; absolutely loved it) and wanted to see how far Microsoft has matured in the mobile arena.

    Windows Phone 7 has, hands down, the best mobile UI experience you can get right now. Everything is fluid, fast and easy. The stock applications and voice controls gel perfectly and make Android look like a total mess, though it's cleaned up its act with Ice Cream Sandwich. App switching is WebOS-like and will make multi-tasking awesome when it comes to life in the next version. It's integration with Windows Live and Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is the best I have ever seen and used and totally antiquates the need for their dedicated apps. (This might not matter for many Slashdot folks, but it matters for most people.) Forget iPod and iTunes; the Zune is just as easy to use and is much prettier to use. (It helps that the Zune software runs great on Windows, unlike iTunes.) The camera has ZERO lag, though the lens on the HD7 absolutely sucked. It's experience is absolutely beautiful and I can totally see iPhone users defecting to this once the app ecosystem.

    Microsoft's strategy to use Nokia as their flagship supplier makes much more sense after you use it for a while; Nokia still has huge brand recognition and will shake up the market really nicely when they release (and market) their ace device.

    The biggest obvious problem is that Apple and Android both had first-mover's advantage and, thus, own the space at the moment. However, this is not as problematic as it seems. People are getting tired of iOS (it hasn't changed very much since 1.0, despite great hardware advances) and Windows Phone offers a very cool and equally smooth alternative that a lot of people will feel comfortable moving to, especially with its strong Facebook integration. It's going to be very difficult for Apple to match this and Android's UI improvements and they can't depend on making killer hardware leaps anymore since both fronts have caught up there. (Kind of like how Intel can't really market GHz anymore since every processor is "fast enough.")

    Apple is, finally, in trouble, but that's what happens when you're on top for so long. :)
    • by Asic Eng (193332)

      Apple is, finally, in trouble, but that's what happens when you're on top for so long. :)

      Ok, back to reality: even if WP7 will eventually succeed - right now it's market share is puny. Apple is not in trouble, they are doing almost absurdly well - granted in terms of marketshare they've lost a lot, but they they lost that to Android. Maybe 2012 or 2013 will be the year of Windows on the mobile device? I won't completely dismiss that possibility - one of MS' primary strengths is persistence.

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      One of Apple's key features is the longevity of their hardware, which works with and against them. If you buy an iPhone you'll get OS updates that work for 2-3 years, which means you can always run the newest software for that period of time (Siri being the main exception to-date, but that isn't really distributed on its own via the app store anyway). If you buy an Android phone, there is a decent chance you'll never get an update for it - often phones are sold long after they get their last update, and i

      • by MrCrassic (994046)

        If you buy an Android phone, there is a decent chance you'll never get an update for it - often phones are sold long after they get their last update, and it is rare to get an update even one year after it FIRST goes on sale.

        There are two caveats to this:

        • Only applies to low-end devices. Historically, flagship devices have always had a clear-cut and well-supported upgrade path for at least one or two iterations.

          For example, this [motorola.com] chart highlights the upgrades available for Motorola devices. All of the flagship devices they've sold, such as the Droid, Droid X and Xoom, have gotten carrier-supported upgrades to Gingerbread. I know that flagship HTC and Samsung devices, like the Droid Incredible, Desire HD/Inspire and Galaxy S
  • You need a special TOKEN just to develop for the damn things? And there's a shortage? Do they have a basement full of MS trolls hand-crafting each token?

    If they thought the ability was intrinsically dangerous, they wouldn't offer these tokens. If they weren't control freaks, they wouldn't make people beg them for a token just to have a bit more control over the phone. It's the worst kind of artificial scarcity.

    • by Osty (16825)

      You need a special TOKEN just to develop for the damn things? And there's a shortage? Do they have a basement full of MS trolls hand-crafting each token?

      Not exactly, no. You can develop for the emulator for free (all the tools and SDKs are available for free). If you want to put what you developed on your phone itself you can either pay $100/year for access to the market (the standard approach that Microsoft wants you to do, because it gets apps in the market and everybody judges smartphone platforms by t

      • by sjames (1099)

        They're not as bad as Apple (wow, that's a scary thing to say!), but it seems to me that sideloading is a natural right on a device I own.

        Technically you can develop using only the emulator, but you can never be sure it really works until you run on real hardware. It's also pointless to develop if you can't even use it personally.

        With Android, I can use the emulator to debug, then test (including running the debugger) and use on my own phone. Then I can either sign up in the market or I can just let people

  • Just let us install what we want on our devices from any source that we want. You don't have to allow "root" access just the same permissions and sandboxed isolated storage, manifest based security constraints as any app avaliable on the app store.

    I mean whats the difference between just making it a feature of the platform vs having to go through a few extra hoops for the same outcome? Your "enterprise" customers would thank you.

    Don't be another evil Apple who thinks it is ok to control what can be instal

  • Good for everyone. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gravis Zero (934156) on Monday January 02, 2012 @07:12PM (#38566944)

    The more they destroy their developer-base and show that they are unfriendly to developers, the more developers will avoid WP7. The net result being the suicide of WP7. This is great... well, except for the two people that bought a WP7 phone.

    You reap what you sow.

    • You know, the whole "two people who bought..." meme would be a lot funnier in an article that wasn't about how ten thousand tokens for homebrew development sold out in just a few months. Let's break down that 10,000 to get an idea of what it really means, though:

      These aren't needed for people who are already developers - they have legit developer accounts, which offer the same access plus submitting to the Marketplace.
      These people don't work for Microsoft - developer accounts are free to employees (I intern

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