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Microsoft gives Phone 7 Mango jailbreak its blessing

If it's good enough for ChevronWP7, it’s good enough for hobbyists

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Microsoft has shifted its stance on the jailbreaking of its Phone 7 operating system, and seems to be embracing – rather than trying to crush – such developments.

Redmond has had an ongoing feud with the developers at ChevronWP7 ever since the group put out a jailbreak for Phone 7 a year ago, allowing users to run applications that haven’t been signed off by Microsoft. Phone 7 users can do this anyway by paying Redmond $99 a year for the developer program, but ChevronWP7 offered the ability for just $9 per handset.

Last December, Microsoft blocked unlocked handsets from receiving updates, but said it wouldn't brick them. In May of this year, Phone 7 director Brandon Watson said: “Unfortunately for those customers out there who acted on information from sources outside of Microsoft, the rubber meets the road today.” But the exact relationship between said rubber and said road remained somewhat murky.

But Microsoft now appears to be changing its tune. The latest version of the ChevronWP7 code, released this weekend, has Microsoft’s blessing, and requires a Windows ID to use. The price remains the same, and it looks as though Microsoft will support the code.

“Microsoft is collaborating with the ChevronWP7 team in its efforts to create tools for the Windows Phone hobbyist developer community,” Redmond told The Register in a statement. “We are working with ChevronWP7 team to help ensure that their tools are safe for hobbyist developers while respecting the intellectual property of our developer community. Microsoft believes in enabling as many developers and enthusiasts as possible, empowering them to learn, grow, and get the most benefit on our platform.”

From the text of the statement it looks very likely that Redmond is changing its thinking on the subject of jailbreaking. This could be no bad thing, given that it’s looking to get the maximum number of developers working on the mobile operating system, and it will please many in that community. ®

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