Developers Pull Windows Phone 7 Unlocking Tool
The developers of ChevronWP7 have agreed to pull the Windows Phone 7 unlocking tool, as Microsoft explores official support for ‘homebrew’ applications
The developers of the ChevronWP7 software for unlocking Windows Phone 7 (WP7)-based smartphones have stopped distributing the software, less than a week after its launch.
On Wednesday, developers Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh and Long Zheng said they had been contacted by Brandon Watson, Microsoft’s director of developer experience for Windows Phone 7, and had “established a mutual understanding of our intent to enable homebrew opportunities and to open the Windows Phone 7 platform for broader access to developers and users”.
Microsoft is interested in exploring the possibility of official support for the kinds of features enabled by ChevronWP7, according to the developers.
“Brandon Watson has agreed to engage in futher discussions with us about officially facilitating homebrew development on WP7,” the ChevronWP7 developers wrote.
To speed these discussions along, ChevronWP7 will no longer be made available, they wrote.
“We are excited to explore the opportunity to become more involved with the shaping of the platform and to build a feedback channel for developers around the world,” the WP7 team blogged.
On Tuesday the developers released their first application designed for unlocked WP7 handsets, a ringtone manager, along with its source code.
“The source code for this whole solution has been released as our commitment to homebrew developers,” the developers blogged.
The Rivera, Walsh and Zheng originally said the tool was designed to allow anyone, including enterprise developers, to programme an application and load it onto the device, a feature currently only available to registered developers.
“Unlocking allows the sideloading of experimental applications that otherwise can’t be published to the Marketplace, such as those which access private or native APIs,” they wrote in a blog post at the time of ChevronWP7′s launch last week.
Apple has allowed companies to make applications for their own users and install them on the iPhone without going via the App Store, but the Windows Phone 7 currently lacks this feature.
Microsoft had recommended users avoid ChevronWP7 as it could open the way for unsafe applications or disable phone functionality.
Windows Phone 7 launched in the UK in late October but reviews have generally been middling for phones running the software.
In a new report UK retailer MobilesPlease reported that Windows Phone 7 devices were being outsold by their Google Android and Symbian counterparts. This news dovetails with earlier rumours that first-day Windows Phone 7 sales in the United States were somewhat lacklustre.