Windows Phone 7 Already 'Jailbroken'

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft's new mobile phone system, Windows Phone 7, has only been available on handsets for a couple of weeks, but "enthusiasts" have already discovered how to jailbreak it. The process allows users to run any application on the handset, including those that haven't gone through a Microsoft vetting process.

Jailbreaking Dissimilar to Unlocking Cells

It's important to note that jailbreaking is not the same as unlocking. The latter is the process of removing the protection manufacturers put on a phone so that it only works on a particular network, usually in cases where the handset was sold at a reduced rate because the network subsidized the cost in the hope of picking up customers.

Instead, jailbreaking simply alters a device so that it can run any application. In a sense, it turns the operating system (OS) into the same set-up as the computer equivalent of Windows where anyone can produce, distribute and install software without restriction by Microsoft.

Jailbreak OS Translates to Lost Royalties

In some ways, Microsoft shouldn't have much to fear when it comes to jailbreaking: while it might lose out on royalty shares of apps sold, most developers looking to make money will stick to the official Marketplace store in order to reach a wider audience. The main drawback for Microsoft is that the unofficial apps carry greater security risks, or that they are poor quality and users blame that on the operating system itself.

Installation A Simple Process

The jailbreaking tool (known as "Chevron") is installed by downloading an executable file to a PC and then running it while a phone is connected via USB. The producers say it is perfectly safe, and includes the option to return the phone to its original state. As with any executable file, though, it's a sensible precaution to check it with an antivirus scanner first. (Source:

Chevron works by taking advantage of a feature known as 'sideloading' that allows unfinished apps to be tested on a real Windows Phone 7 handset rather than a simulator on a computer. Sideloading is officially available to only approved application developers, but Chevron removes this restriction. (Source:

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