Upcoming WP7 update will disable ChevronWP7, future of Homebrew up in the air

Last night, the ChevronWP7 team posted a new blog on their upcoming meeting with Microsoft in Redmond next week. At that discussion, they plan to put forth the argument as to why the Hombrew community is important as well as the general feeling on improving the OS:

We’ll be sharing our perspective on the homebrew potentials of Windows Phone 7 and some of the wider community feedback around the platform. In addition to our homebrew focus, we will also be pushing for stronger protection of WP7 developer intellectual property (IP) on the platform as we believe both can co-exist on the platform.

Sounds pretty good. But then again, there's certainly no commitment from Microsoft to embrace or work towards a hombrew community. It seems that you can only have it all open or all closed, but in between is hard to navigate. But hey, there's some smart people around discussing this stuff so maybe a workaround can be reached?

The second big bombshell is that ChevronWP7, technically discontinued, will no longer work after the upcoming 'NoDo' update:

Although this has been subtly communicated before, we’d like to reiterate Microsoft has informed us the “coding error” used in the ChevronWP7 unlocker will no longer work after the next Windows Phone 7 update (officially announced at CES 2011).

So that's that, evidently. Of course we imagine some other young, starry eyed team will come a long and we'll repeat the whole process by say....March or April. Much like the locked-unlocked-locked cycle of the iPhone and the Cydia community, this has the potential to go on for a long time. However, if Microsoft comes up with a Homebrew solution, that would easily nip in the bud the desire for more black-hat activities amongst the community.

Maybe we're cynical, but we're just not holding our breath on the homebrew thing happening. Your thoughts?

Source: ChevronWP7 (opens in new tab); via @ChrisWalshie (opens in new tab)

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.

  • Thoughts? Well, as it was highlighted before, there'll still be a gap between Chevron WP7 unavailability and an official framework set up by Microsoft to support homebrew. This gap will likely be counted in several months... I don't expect anything coming from MS until end of the year - unless Chevron WP7 team infirm that.
  • I don't think it'll take that long at all, the reason being that non-dev unlocked sideloading is something needed by enterprise users or WP7 won't be able to get used in many of them. That's basically the same thing here, it's all come down to sideloading and not having to go through the marketplace to get apps. Sideloading custom app for business or sideloading some free app shouldn't really be different in MS's eyes, though I'm sure in the end it doesn't help beef up the WP7 marketplace numbers if apps are scattered around the place. At the same time though, those who care enough to sideload free apps know where to find them anyways, the majority of average phone users don't care and will just keep checking out the marketplace like normal.
  • MS simply needs to come out with a sideload server, or provide a means of private Marketplaces. We already know the latter is possible, because there are already manufacturer and carrier sections in Marketplace that only select customers can access.Otherwise, although I find non-dev unlocking interesting, I'm not going to do it. Heck, I'm writing some code, but I still haven't pulled the trigger on dev unlocking.
  • Thats still part of Marketplace, those HTC, Samsung, LG, etc... apps are all apart of the original Microsoft Marketplace and they go through a similar approval process. Only difference is Marketplace detects the type of device you have and determines if HTC or LG (etc) apps are shown to you.The side loading that some people may want is take Microsoft out of the loop completely and Joe Bob creating an app and you installing it. But the problem with that is you end up have a buggy experience like Windows Mobile where you have untested apps that may have memory leaks or warez apps being shared around. A Good example of how well Marketplace works is Microsoft will reject an app if it hogs to much memory or doesn't release a set amount of memory after loading or uninstalling. Things that newbie developers over look and don't spend the extra time coding in errorhandlers. Just because an app may work fine in an emulator or on one type of device doesn't mean it won't slow down a different type of device. And that's where Microsoft's testing of apps for Marketplace comes in.I think side loading for corporations fine, make them pay a huge fee $1500 or something for a special software or approving server. But to just let anyone run around and create apps and side load and post on the net would be back for WP7 OS.
  • There maybe problems with homebrew/hacking a phone, but the ability to use personalize your is what people want. The irony of hacking phones is that it helped popularize Android. Windows phone needs this community to help create the future of WP, they will be the ones who will push the limites of the OS.