SMARTPHONE SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has joined Apple by having its locked down Windows Phone 7 (WP7) operating system jailbroken.
A clever trio of developers have managed to figure out a way to install applications without going to the Vole's WP7 Marketplace. The ability to load applications this way, known as sideloading, was previously only possible for those who had Marketplace developer accounts.
One limitation of WP7 Marketplace approved applications is that they do not use private or native APIs. Being able to do so enables developers to take full advantage of the hardware in WP7 handsets and can result in more useful and better performing applications.
The procedure for jailbreaking a WP7 handset is painless, with the developers providing a simple executable. All it requires is a USB cable and a couple of clicks, according to Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh and Long Zheng, the guys responsible for the jailbreak.
The news comes less than two months after Microsoft's launch of its latest attempt to save some face in the smartphone market after the disaster that was Windows Mobile. Jailbreaking on smartphones became popular with Apple's Iphone, where its App Store has similar restrictions on application capabilities.
Microsoft might be secretly pleased that WP7 has been considered popular and useful enough to be worth the effort. µ
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