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WinPho7 jailbreak kit locked down by Redmond 'dev mojo' man

Backscratch confab at pirate cutlass toolshop

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The Windows Phone 7 jailbreak software, which debuted earlier this week, has been pulled while the developers talk to Microsoft about how best to distribute such a thing.

The developers of ChevronWP7 have apparently been chatting to Microsoft about how to encourage the kind of home-brew development their jailbreaking tool permits, and have initially concluded that withdrawing the tool itself is a good first step, while they continue talking to Redmond about where to go from here.

ChevronWP7 is an application that unlocks, or jailbreaks, a Windows Phone 7 handset so the user can install software that hasn't been certified by Microsoft. It was released Tuesday with the assertion that it was a tool that would allow developer to create applications, for their own use, without needing to sign up to the $99 developer programme.

While doing that, it also opens the possibility for a Windows Phone 7 handset to run pirated software, something that Microsoft's architecture normally prevents.

The developers of ChevronWP7 are adamant that promoting piracy is not what they are about, and provide a lengthy explanation of their reasoning, but the fact remains that the tool can be used for evil as well as good.

Apple faces the same issues, but has managed to keep jailbroken iPhones, and thus software piracy, to a minimum, through technical measures and by ensuring the legitimate app store is suitably stocked with the applications people want. Microsoft has adopted the more-direct approach of asking the developers of the jailbreaking software to discontinue it, which seems to have worked.

In a blog entry, the developers of ChevronWP7 say they're working with Microsoft's Brandon Watson to create a mechanism allowing home development without increasing the risk of piracy. Mr Brandon describes himself as an "Entrepreneur on loan to Microsoft focused on getting our developer mojo back", so would seem ideally placed to create some sort of signing-up scheme for those who want to run their own software, but promise not to steal anyone else's. ®

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