Windows Phone 7 ‘Genuine Software’ check revealed, custom ROMs could be blocked

By Tom Warren, on 22nd Nov 10 3:00 pm with 4 Comments

Hackers are hard at work attempting to port Windows Phone 7 over to other non WP7 HTC devices such as the HD2. However, reports suggest that there could be a “Genuine Software” check built into Microsoft’s latest mobile OS to prevent the software running on non-official hardware.

WPCentral reports that Microsoft is using private keys (PVK) to identify and tie devices to Windows Phone 7. The operating system checks the device motherboard for its PVKs and verifies the device is a genuine Windows Phone 7 model. WPCentral notes that although the core operating system will remain functional, Windows Live reliant services, such as Xbox LIVE, Marketplace and Zune, will stop working:

“Specifically, some aspect of the OS looks for and then pulls these keys from the device motherboard for verification. If the keys cannot be found, the motherboard must be replaced or serviced.”

Winrumors recently reported on efforts to jailbreak Windows Phone 7. Australian developer Chris Walshie managed to perfect a method to run native un-managed code on a Windows Phone 7 device. The method is the first step in a long road to a full Windows Phone 7 jailbreak. Windows Phone 7 hackers now have the challenge of breaking the protection and bypassing Microsoft’s efforts. These efforts could be a lengthy process as hackers and ROM developers tinker at the new OS and discover its weaknesses.

Image Credit: WPCentral

  • Calum

    Awesome! It’s good they have these checks in place.

  • Calum

    Awesome! It’s good they have these checks in place.

    • Tom W

      Agreed but the cooked ROM community for WM 6.5 was great. Arguably it probably helped keep the product updated as Microsoft left it to rot.

    • Anonymous

      Right, Microsoft always left WM to rot. But now they have a system of OTA updates that they actual plan to use but more importantly, they have smart and talented people behind the Windows Phone team, probably the brightest of the bright in this industry.