The ChevronWP7 Labs project came into being last year as a way to offer users of the locked-down Windows Phone platform a chance to enable sideloading without joining Microsoft’s costly developer’s programs. After only a few short months of existence, though, the team announced around New Year’s that it had already run out of unlock tokens, and wasn’t likely to be getting more from Microsoft. Today, ChevronWP7 Labs is finally making its shutdown official.
It’s interesting to hear the team’s explanation of why it made this decision. It says that the ultimate goal of this project was to both create excitement about hobbyist development, and to turn these hobbyist users into full-on, membership-paying, published App Hub developers. While the former worked like gangbusters, because that latter goal wasn’t met, the ChevronWP7 team is calling the project a failure.
That comment is generating a lot of backlash, and it’s easy to see why. When things first got started, the team described its goals only as “to allow hobbyist developers to install, run, and debug unsigned applications on their personal Windows Phone”. All of a sudden, there’s this big commercial component being pulled out of nowhere. Based on the comments so far to the team’s reaction, there are plenty of perfectly happy users who never had any intention of publishing any apps, and are expressing a lot of confusion over ChevronWP7 Labs so thoroughly misunderstanding its user base.
If you purchased an unlock token while they were available, ChevronWP7 and Microsoft are offering you a free year of App Hub usage. You’ve got sixty days to sign up if you want to take advantage of the offer.
Source: ChevronWP7 Labs