The tool, called ChevronWP7, allows users to load any application onto their device
Developers have released a “jailbreak” tool for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, allowing the handsets to run any application, not just those approved for distribution through Microsoft’s Marketplace.
although reminiscent of jailbreak tools for the iPhone, this tool, called ChevronWP7, addresses a feature missing in Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. It allows corporations to develop proprietary applications and install them on users’ handsets without the need to first place the application on Marketplace, as is currently required by Microsoft.
Apple has allows 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.
Only registered developers can run any application on a Windows Phone 7 handset, and ChevronWP7 gives this functionality to any user, according to the tools’ developers.
“Our intention is to enable and create WP7 homebrew applications that cannot be submitted to the Marketplace in the first place,” said the developers of ChevronWP7 in a statement.
“Our tool only enables functionality inside every Windows Phone 7 device designed and implemented by Microsoft. We do not make any modifications to the operating system.”
Microsoft said it recommends users avoid ChevronWP7 as it could open the way for unsafe applications or disable phone functionality.
“Attempting to unlock a device could void the warranty, disable phone functionality, interrupt access to Windows Phone 7 services or render the phone permanently unusable,” Microsoft said in a statement. “In addition, only apps and games acquired through Marketplace are certified for quality, performance, content and user safety.”
ChevronWP7’s developers said the unlocking process can be reversed if needed.
“This tool is completely safe and reversible for the phone,” they wrote in a blog post. “The app even allows you to relock the phone.”
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.