We ran across a Tweet concerning the Marketplace and Windows Phone 7 apps this morning that raised some concern. Apparently there is a website out there, Winmobile7, that according to their "About" page:
"WinMobile7.AppHab.com is the place to discover and share the latest and best Windows Mobile 7 apps through social recommendations as well as reviews from users and our editorial team."
Sounds like an innocent blog that reviews apps right? Well the concerns from the Twitter posts is that not only does the site review apps but it also contains download links for the .xap file that is residing on Microsoft's servers.
Even if you download the .xap file, it's going to take some effort to get it installed to your Windows Phone 7.
You will need the developer tools and device that is unlocked for development. While the developer tools are free, you have to be a registered developer to get an unlocked device. You CAN however download the .xap and rename it as a .zip and look at the structure of the app, though we're 99% sure that the real "code" of the app is compiled/encoded/encrypted.
Not many will be able to do much with this downloadable file. That is unless you're a developer looking to download free apps from other developers. Still, one has to wonder why it's so easy for a third party site to provide download links to Marketplace apps.
Thanks Tim for the heads-up and help on this
Update: Microsoft had let us know that they were aware of the situation and were preparing a response. While we haven't seen a official response from Microsoft, in checking back with the site in question, the Marketplace download links have been removed from the app reviews.