Microsoft has begun discussions with the ChevronWP7 team today.
Microsoft representatives met with Rafael Rivera and Long Zheng of the ChevronWP7 team on Monday to discuss the tool and Microsoft’s plans to support homebrew applications on Windows Phone 7. Chris Walsh, another member of the team, was unable to attend due to American Visa issues. Long Zheng posted a picture of the meeting on Twitter on Monday (above) where you can see Brandon Watson (back, left) and Larry Lieberman (front, right) of Microsoft’s Windows Phone developer experience team.
ChevronWP7 famously released their Windows Phone 7 “unlock” tool in late Novermber that allowed owners to side load home-brew applications. The tool, named ChevronWP7, used a method to trick the OS into registering itself as a Windows Phone 7 developer device with the application rather than Microsoft directly. Microsoft normally charges $99 a year for the privilege of loading developer applications. ChevronWP7 pulled the tool at Microsoft’s request just two weeks after it was originally released. It was later revealed that Windows Phone 7 devices “phone home” after around two weeks to re-lock unofficial developer devices, rendering the tool useless.
Chevron’s developers – Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh and Long Zheng all agreed to remove the tool and engage in discussions around officially facilitating homebrew development on Windows Phone 7. Microsoft has flown the team out to Redmond today to begin the official discussions to allow homebrew application development on Windows Phone 7. The ChevronWP7 confirmed their meeting with Microsoft in a blog posting last week. “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,” wrote a spokesperson.
WinRumors recently interviewed Greg Sullivan, Windows Phone 7 group product manager at Microsoft, at CES 2011. Sullivan confirmed the ChevronWP7 meet and revealed that the software giant would have more to say about homebrew on Windows Phone 7 in the coming months.
Microsoft says it is planning to disable ChevronWP7 in its first Windows Phone 7 update, due shortly. Microsoft’s Brandon Watson has confirmed that ChevronWP7 will no longer function in future. “Yes, the hole ChervonWP7 team found is closed,” said Watson. Microsoft is expected to issue its first Windows Phone 7 update in February.