When Microsoft released the Windows Phone 7 here in the US, one of the first observations was you had to agree to the Genuine Software Activation for the device. This is similar to what Microsoft does for desktop software with security updates to try and make sure you have a licensed copy of the software. The same is true with the mobile phone OS. When you got to Zune, Windows Live, Marketplace and Xbox Live, it checks to make sure you have a genuine copy of the OS. They do not want anyone to modify their OS or hack it in any way. We saw much of the same thing with the iPhone.
The goal of this is to have control over the OS for development and have standards along with the ever important security. If the OS can be changed, it would mean the code kernel code could be changed by malware or viruses. Not something you would want to see. As with the iPhone, we now have a jailbreak available for the Windows Phone 7, called ChevronWP7 and is available now. The phone has been out for less than a month and this is now available. Without this app, the only apps you could download to your phone were from the Marketplace, which limits what you have access based on Microsoft. This is something that a number of people want to expand and pull in apps that may still be under development or not in the Marketplace. As with the App Store, things have to be approved.
The unique thing about this jailbreak is they are calling the ability to load:
Unlocking allows the sideloading of experimental applications that would otherwise can’t be published to the Marketplace, such as those which access private or native APIs.
Sideloading is the term applied as an alternative method of loading files than the normal one as expected by Microsoft via the Marketplace. This requires a computer and a USB cable to the phone to complete. You can develop some of your own apps and test them on your phone without having to go through the developer process.
As with Apple, Microsoft has indicated that jailbreaking your phone could void the warranty, render the phone non-functional and all the other legal jargon in an effort to have people consider not using this. As with this kind of hack, you are on your own with Microsoft if you have problems. Since we now have a jailbreak for the phone, this would tend to indicate increasing interest in the Windows Phone 7.