Feeds

Microsoft orders ROM removals

Not meant for mortal man

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Microsoft has ordered the removal of ROM images from popular Windows Mobile development site XDA-Developers.

The site is aimed at developers wanting to get more out of devices from HTC; the largest manufacturer of Windows Mobile devices, and offers forums, information, documentation and advice, as well as the various ROM images needed to reprogram handsets.

The ROM images include the different versions available for each handset, as well as variants for different network operators or resellers. The versions might have different features enabled, or bugs fixed: some network operators and resellers do post updated ROMs of their own variants, but they aren't always quick to do so, and some choose not to do so at all.

Users downloading the ROMs from XDA-Developers were warned that they came without warranty at the user's risk, but in general the site was careful not to post anything too unstable, and lengthy discussion forums provided advice for anyone having problems upgrading.

But none of this was legal, of course. Microsoft owns Windows Mobile, and has absolute rights over its distribution. A license to use the OS is included in the price of a handset, but that license no more allows the user to take a copy of the ROM and upload it to XDA-Developers than buying a DVD permits one to upload the film contained to YouTube.

Microsoft has, in the past, complained to XDA-Developers about pre-release or unstable ROMs appearing on its site, and these have always been quickly removed, but this order is something new. Microsoft claims that customers are demanding support from their network operators for unsupported ROMs downloaded from the site - it's hard to believe this happens often, but it does shift the blame nicely away from Microsoft.

More likely, this is about Windows Mobile 6. This new version will be available as an upgrade, for a price, so Microsoft will want to pre-empt any pirated ROM images of its new OS turning up. By insisting on the removal of all ROM images of any Windows Mobile version, Microsoft will make it easier to spot, and take action against, pirated versions of WM6. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
You! AT&T! The only thing 'unlimited' about you is your CHEEK, growl feds
Man, we did everything but knock on their doors - carrier
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Watch out, Samsung and Apple: Xiaomi's No 3 in smartphones now
From obscurity to selling 19 million mobes a quarter
Brazil greenlights $200m internet cable to Europe in bid to outfox NSA
Only one problem: it won't make the slightest difference. And they know it
Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? AVOID AT&T
Unless you want your network-swapping tech disabled for good, that is
Knocking Knox: Samsung DENIES vuln claims, says mysterious blogger is a JOKER
But YES, system does store encryption key on the device
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?