Hackers and developers of the ChevronWP7, a Windows Phone 7 jailbreaking utility, had removed the tool and the solution is no longer available for public download. According to the developers behind ChevronWP7, the move was made since Microsoft had reached out to them to create an official solution to load homebrew apps. By removing the tool, developers behind ChevronWP7 are hoping to smooth over a partnership with Microsoft.
The main purpose of ChevronWP7 is to enable the ability to sideload apps, contents, and add features and functionality that wouldn’t be allowed or available on Windows Phone Marketplace. Those “unofficial” apps, otherwise known as homebrew apps, would extend the functionality of the phone beyond what Microsoft and developers would have envisioned or allowed. However, with Microsoft seemingly embracing the homebrew community with its recent statement, despite a caution about how utilizing ChevronWP7 could create an unstable device and void warranties, would remove the need for an unofficial jailbreak.
It seems that although Microsoft is following Apple’s lead with a curated experience on Windows Phone 7, the company’s approach to jailbreaking and rooting is more akin to Android or Palm with its webOS platform. Microsoft’s stance may help it gain developers and hackers to the platform while at the same time by working with the hacking community may help to circumvent piracy of official apps as a side effect of jailbreaking.
With Apple’s iOS platform, jailbreaking has a number of consequences. First, with jailbreaking, developers can create apps that would not otherwise be available in the App Store, like Google Voice apps at the time when Apple had rejected any Google Voice applications. Second, jailbreaking also extends other functions to the platform, enabling features such as multitasking, colored backgrounds on the home screen, custom ringtones and notification sounds, and a task switcher–these features were addressed by enterprising developers long before Apple had added those features natively within iOS. And third, an unintended consequence was the ability to load pirated apps. On Windows Phone 7, by working with jailbreakers and developers, Microsoft may be looking to thwart the last factor while helping developers move the platform forward with features that the company did not conceive in designing the OS and user experience initially.