Homebrew Windows Phone unlocking service comes to a permanent end

Back in January we reported that ChevronWP7 Labs, the officially-sanctioned "jailbreak" service for Windows Phone "homebrew", was coming to a halt. At the time, the reasons cited mostly revolved around the difficulties some users experienced in installing it and the following tech-support needed to help them out. The project was put on indefinite hiatus with more tokens possibly being bought in the future.

However, today it's official: the experiment is over.

Within 120 days, those who unlocked their phones via the ChevronWP7 Labs service will have their phones re-locked. The good news is all users who bought a token are eligible for a one-year Microsoft App Hub membership, a $99 value and allowing them to stay unlocked for 12 more months.

The jailbreak service is being permanently shut down for a few reasons, including those cited above but also because many of those who did unlock their phones so that they could "sideload" apps for experimentation, never moved on to actually publishing any apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace. That was one of the goals of the project -- to reduce the $99 barrier for devs who might not be able to afford the App Hub membership.

While ChevronWP7 Labs is gone, the ChevronWP7 team made up of Rafael Rivera, Long Zheng and Chris Walsh will continue tinkering around:

"Fear not, we will continue to explore other ideas with Microsoft. All sides are still very interested in the hobbyist and homebrew developer communities."

For more information on the closure of the service and for those looking to upgrade to that App Hub membership, head to the ChevronWP7 Labs site here.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Sad news, hopefully you guys can get something worked out for the homebrew community in the next year. I never had any problems (though now my spare token that was awaiting a new VZW phone) is looking pretty dumb.
  • so does anyone know how we get our apphub membership??
    edit - guess i need to read the whole article
  • Sounds good. I've played around with the chevron unlock but never made the jump to the official app hub membership. I think now will be as good a time as any. :)
  • boo, i want a jailbreak for the 900 so i can get a screenshot app!
  • You sign up for an app membership after (for free) so you get another year...
  • Good news !!! Piracy kills Marketplace...
  • Overpriced games, no paypal and microsoft point support, no ability to change live id is what kills marketplace
  • Your crazy dude. What kind of stupid statement id that " piracy kills marketplace". Who has the the biggest marketplace?????? Apple. Ever heard of cydia?????? So the facts totally discredit your statement. Facts are facts.
  • We need a way to unlock all devices at will so we can do an end around on MS. Corporate BS about why screenshots and a whole gamut of other services not available on WP is completely unacceptable.
  • Wow, that's unfortunate... What if I wanted to develop for my own personal needs and never submit. :( And at this time there are no aftermarket unlocks for Lumia's :(
  • PayPal could be integrated by the developer, publishing a free app and offering online activation via PayPal services.
    As regards changing live id, you can associate secondary accounts to use for mail, social, etc, it isn't a big limit for me...
  • Can you back up your phone? Can you transfer game saves to new phones when upgrading? Is wp7 as big as windows 6.5? Can you customize wp7? All the more reasons wp7 needs a legitimate jailbreak.
  • Excellent point!!!
  • People should interop unlock their phones and then perform the hack to disable re-lock:
  • I wouldn't say bad need, you had your kicks. All in all good Job, I'm not an unlock stuff kinda guy anymore, got lazy and a Credit Card, but this team was fair with the stuff, as far as I know.
    I side note to the annoying ppl with the me points whining - I like it!
  • *ms points
  • I'm excited to see this! I did this unlock for my Original Samsung Focus. I'm probably going to be moving to the Titan or Titan 2 next week. K
    I was bummed about losing my unlock at least with the membership I can unlock and relock my phones (if I get multiple) as needed
  • Geez just flash a custom rom quit fuckin bitching
  • Except there ae only Roms for a few first Gen devices.
  • Well... Glad I got my token when I did