In an interesting article at Ars Technica, they discuss the brief history of Chevron WP7, homebrew and piracy with regards to Windows Phone 7. Most of it is par for our readers, with nothing to substantial as far as history.

But there was a real interesting section regarding piracy, encryption and what Microsoft is doing to prevent theft of developers' software:

"Those piracy concerns are still an issue. It's possible to download application packages from Microsoft's servers and install them onto a developer unlocked phone without actually buying them.

That will change. Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" includes support for a new kind of encrypted package that should rule out this kind of piracy. Microsoft is waiting to ensure that a high enough proportion of users have upgraded to Mango before throwing the switch and using these encrypted packages, however."

This is the first we heard of any XAP encryption that would seemingly prevent users from sideloading illegally downloaded XAPs from Microsoft's servers (something we first demonstrated back in December). The idea is certainly a welcome one and from that detail about Microsoft waiting to throw the switch, this seems to be all on their-end.  That means devs won't have to do anything different in their XAP preparation and submission to the Marketplace.

Of course devs could presumably still release their XAPs directly e.g. for the homebrew community without encryption, much like they do now. But for companies like Nokia, who may be a tad irritated that their Music and Maps apps have been ripped, this could be very welcome news.

Source: Ars Technica