Feeds

Windows Phone 7 gets unlocked

Side loading without Microsoft's say-so

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
End of buttons? Apple looks to patent animating iPhone sidewalls
Filing suggests handset with display strips
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.