Feeds

Windows Phone 7 gets unlocked

Side loading without Microsoft's say-so

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The first jailbreaking app is out for Windows Phone 7, enabling the installation of unsigned applications, which can now be developed in Visual Basic too.

The VB addition is from Microsoft, and means developers can create Silverlight apps using Visual Basic, get them signed and run them on a phone. But developers can also now run all kinds of applications without Microsoft's approval, thanks to the ChevronWP7 unlocking tool.

Registered developers, who've coughed up their $99, can install unsigned applications anyway for testing and development, but the new jailbreaking tool opens that potential to all – with the attendant risks from malware and badly-written software that come when you open Pandora's box.

The balance between freedom and flexibility is a tough one: Apple's iPhone, the most famously-locked-down of the platforms, has no viruses or Trojans to worry about, while we're told that more than a million Chinese Symbian handsets are currently infected with a Trojan that's awaiting instructions.

Android tries to sidestep the problem by providing a tick box to switch off the security mechanisms that prevent rogue applications being installed, but what proportion of users have ticked it we don't know.

Making something completely secure is impossible, and trusting users with their own security has comprehensively failed to work on the desktop, so the best solution seems to be having a jailbreak available – but, crucially, one that is too complicated for the majority of users to bother with. Step two would be to scare people every now and then with talk of malware and developers being left in poverty, just to keep the number of "jailbroken" devices to a minimum.

In that context, ChevronWP7 is expected, and welcomed, just as long as not too many people start using it. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.