We’ve heard about the possibility, and even a proof of concept, of an app to download Marketplace apps and then certify them so they can be sideloaded onto unlocked Windows Phones. We can confirm that there is an all-in-one tool that is available now to do this. We will not mention its name or provide links and we will scrub any mentions of it in the comments so don’t bother asking about it. I want to make it clear that should you come across this and be tempted to download it you shouldn’t think about it. Why? Well 1) pirating apps is illegal and you will get caught with this method and 2) if you pirate apps you’re a dick. Let’s take them in order:
In case you missed it, Microsoft knows what apps are on your device regardless of how they got there. So if you go ahead and pirate an app Microsoft will be able to detect that you do not have a valid license for that app. Yes, it will install on the phone (and pass the phone’s local certification check) but if Microsoft cross-checks licenses on their server against your phone then they’ll detect the app, and based on the Diagnosis app this appears to happen automatically. And whether or not you have location settings enabled, or a Live ID that is linked to your name or you’ve enabled payments through your carrier or credit card, etc, you can bet that MS can detect exactly who it is that is running pirated apps. Does that mean you’ll go to jail 5 minutes after installing it? No, but you want to take that kind of a risk to save $.99? I think that really speaks to your mental health…
And that brings me to my second point. Developing apps takes years of skill and hours of work and the developers are asking for what – $.99? If you think that other people should spend their time just for you to steal from them then you’re a dick. I mean, you get that this is someone’s livelihood, right? And that they learn their skill to sell apps? And then you clean off your Cheetos eating hand and with a keystroke you steal from them? Yeah, you’re a winner. And yes, plenty of apps are free or ad based. That’s the developers decision and not yours.
The only valid justification for this tool is for people in markets that cannot download apps because Marketplace doesn’t exist in their region but this only extends to free apps and not paid apps.
Bottom line – focus your efforts on earning a few more bucks and paying for the apps you want and less time figuring out how to be a thief.