Over the weekend, we learned of the first operable jailbreak for Windows RT, letting devices like the Surface run apps other than those signed by Microsoft and distributed through the Windows Store. When developers first came up with a sideloading technique for Windows Phone 7, Microsoft engaged them rather than treat them as adversaries, and ended up turning the project around into the officially-sanctioned (albeit short-lived) ChevronWP7 Labs. Will this new exploit see similar attention? In a short statement, Microsoft doesn’t seem to show any real animosity towards the jailbreak, though it does hint that it won’t last for long.
Microsoft appears to appreciate the academic nature of the jailbreak – after all, this isn’t some one-click-install, and between the steps needed to perform the exploit, and its inability to survive a reboot, its impact stands to be minimal. Still, that doesn’t mean that Microsoft isn’t impressed with the work we’ve seen, saying that it wished to “applaud the ingenuity of the folks who worked this out and the hard work they did to document it.”
Unfortunately, don’t count on Microsoft leaving this hole open, as the company explains that it won’t guarantee that the exploit remains possible in future Windows RT system updates. It doesn’t go so far as to say it’s actively working to close the hole, but this seems to be the gentle way of giving the development community the heads-up not to get too comfortable.