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Windows Phone 7 unlockers let off with a warning

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Windows Phone 7 devices that have been jailbroken using the ChevronWP7 aren't getting locked up again by Microsoft - at least not yet.

Despite reports to the contrary Microsoft is not reaching out a sinister finger and locking up phones that have been opened up by their owners; but it is pushing out an error message pointing out that unsigned applications are a danger and should be uninstalled forthwith.

Those who've shelled out $99 for the Microsoft Developers' programme are allowed to install unsigned applications, so they can test them prior to submission to Microsoft for signing, and that's the permission that ChevronWP7 fakes. But the fee is payable annually, so the handset checks back with Microsoft every couple of weeks to ensure the developer is all paid up.

If the developer defaults, or was never a developer and is faking it with ChevronWP7, then the handset is told to stop running unsigned applications. For the moment, that results in the user getting an error message whenever an unsigned application is run, explaining that the application "has been revoked by Microsoft" and that the user should "Please uninstall it".

In a blog posting the developers of ChevronWP7 say there's no reason to panic, as the applications installed still run. But the very fact that handsets are reporting their status back to Microsoft should indicate that the approach adopted by ChevronWP7 is a non-starter should the battle escalate.

ChevronWP7 has already been withdrawn, at Microsoft's request, while the company tries to create a legitimate jailbreaking mechanism that won't permit software piracy and malware at the same time - a challenge that no mobile, or non-mobile, platform has yet managed to meet. ®

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