In a huge development for the Windows Phone 7 community, a group of three well-known developers have released an application that reportedly unlocks — or “jailbreaks” — the platform, allowing end-users to install applications outside of the Marketplace structure. After initially discovering how to run native code on the operating system, Chris Walsh teamed up with Long Zheng and Rafael Rivera to build the so-called ChevronWP7 tool, an executable file that brings both unlocking as well as re-locking capabilities to any handset connected to a PC running Windows XP SP 2-or-higher. Since this is the first release of this software, the creators warn that some bugs may be present, so it’s important to read the release notes listed in the Source link.
Prior to this breakthrough, anyone wanting to sideload applications onto a device needed to shell out $99 to Microsoft to join the developer program. Now that the dam has burst, so to speak, we should start to see all sorts of non-Microsoft-approved software hit the usual channels. Sorry, XDA developers, it looks like this is going to be a working holiday after all.
P.S. If you want to learn how to sideload programs yourself using the Application Deployment tool from the WP7 SDK, make sure to check out our video walkthrough.