imageIf you recall the steps to tether a Windows Phone the first step was to dial a code that added an app called ‘diagnosis’ onto your phone. This ‘app’ was not loaded through Marketplace. It was on the phone already and was activated into your programs when the code was entered. But today, a Marketplace update appeared for those of us who had enabled the program. You see what happened right? A non-Marketplace app that was loaded onto the phone was seen by Microsoft’s servers and that triggered Marketplace to call for an update to the app. Why does this matter? Microsoft knows if your phone is sideloading apps and what those apps are. So you can expect that if someone violates the terms of use Microsoft detects it. Now, to date they haven’t done anything with that information except trigger an app update (which you should turn down since it revokes some privileges). But you can imagine them doing this to detect an improperly unlocked phone or to detect a pirated app.

In other words, stay tuned for the end of this story…


  1. I saw the app update for Diagnosis and was wondering what the heck I downloaded until I looked at the App UI. I did not do the update but eventually you will update regardless as the update all button is a huge time saver.

    I am not overly concerned here unless someone can sideload an app that can take screenshots as that is the only thing that will get me to sideload currently.

  2. @Rod Simmons: I actually hope this is used to prevent piracy and think that’s where it’s headed but this is still in its infancy. For now I think it’s a curious thing.

  3. So who is holding all the chips now. Wait till they push that update to your phone without asking. Or maybe just pull the app off your phone every time you sync up with their servers so you have to reinstall the XAP (in ROM I assume) if you want to play with diagnostics again. Right now I don’t think they want to piss anyone off, but I bet they can start playing hardball whenever they choose.

    I bought a WP7 device because I have confidence in Microsoft doing the right thing. Think I will give them a little more time before challenging their reasoning. If I still wanted to tinker I would have jumped on the Android bandwagon.

  4. I just want to point out the diagnosis app is actually in the marketplace, although it’s not displayed in the Samsung Zone, and you can’t find it with a search using the diagnosis keyword, but if you choose “more from Samsung Electronics Co. LTD, you will see the Samsung Diagnosis App with some ratings.
    You will also find “DioDict with Colins Dictionary” with 3 ratings and 4 stars. I was not aware of this particular program until today, and it’s not in the Samsung Zone either.
    Either Samsung or MS needs a better job of organizing Samsung apps.

  5. also, MS has confirmed they have the ability to pull a rouge app if necessary so there’s no doubt they can detect a pirated app and pull it as well, whether they will do it or not is the question.

  6. hmmm. and this was why i was scared to unlock the phone without paying for it. i dont want mircrosoft to start “playing hardball” and lock my device down…

  7. Don’t expect them to lock down any phones, but I do see them yanking off rouge apps, resetting unauthorized changes to your phone, or limiting your access to things like Live Tiles and Facebook updates.

  8. Apps that already on the device count as marketplace installs not sideloading.

    They won’t (and can’t) monitor properly sideloaded apps, as they’re not on MSs servers.

    Each app has a GUID associated with it (names etc can change, but that won’t) which gets stored and verification occurs against. Just changing that GUID will break any checks MS may have.

  9. Thanks for helping Microsoft work through this. So any installed app that does not match the GUID list stored on the MS server can get deleted, or maybe just remove the title from the Apps list. That should keep side loaders busy.

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