Jailbreaking Windows Phone 7 : Up last week but now down

Posted on December 2, 2010


The word ” Jailbreak” arose from the early days of the the iPhone and iPod touch where it is basically a hack that allow users to gain access to the entire Unix filesystem and allows users to tinker and mess with it. Typically, this is an immediate prelude to either installing cool programs, unlocking the handset for use with another cellular network, or both.
Through jailbreaking, one can  add additional applications ( non-approved by Apple )  to the iDevice. By installing an application called Cydia ,  it also allows modding (changing) of your iDevice application icons, wallpaper, dock, status bar, chat bubbles, weather backgrounds, keyboard….etc.

So it was with great interest, we heard of the  first “jailbreak” ( borrowing the word from Apple’s iOS platform ) tool for unlocking Windows Phone 7 applications .  This tool is named ChevronWP7. This seems to be a nice prelude to an expected massive update to the Windows Phone 7  operating system expected for release early next year.

“Today we have an exciting breakthrough for the Windows Phone 7 homebrew community — the ability for anyone to unlock a WP7 device without a Marketplace developer account,” posted by Chris Walsh and his co-developers Long Zhen and Rafael Rivera.
“Let’s just say they could have called it Windows Phone 8,” said one of the tweets by Chris Walsh.

Unlocking allows the sideloading of experimental applications that would otherwise can’t be published to the Marketplace, such as those which access private or native APIs.
We’ve taken the pain out of the process involved and put together a super simple executable that will allow anyone to unlock any WP7 device on the market using a USB cable and just a couple clicks.
This tool is completely safe and reversible for the phone. (The app even allows you to relock the phone.)

Meanwhile, the ChevronWP7 jailbreaking tool was released onto the Web late last week. The download site is at :

However yesterday on 1 Dec, the site was updated with a new announcement : We have discontinued the unlocking tool

The developers reported that this decision was made after they were contacted by Brandon Watson the Director of Developer Experience for Windows Phone 7. Chris and his team has put up an explanation at http://www.chevronwp7.com/.

Nicely and gentlemanly well worded,  it just gives me an impression they were possibly “warned” to ” hands off”. Their last words ” To pursue these goals with Microsoft’s support, Brandon Watson has agreed to engage in futher discussions with us about officially facilitating homebrew development on WP7. To fast-track discussions, we are discontinuing the unlocking tool effective immediately.”

We look forward to further developments from this team , which I believe hopefully will soon be resolved with Microsoft.