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A Little Restraint With the Term ‘Jailbreak’ Please

imageEveryone is jumping on this Windows Phone jailbreak story. We haven’t because it’s really not what most of us talk about in terms of jailbreaking. What the current jailbreak does is permit apps to run that are written in native (unmanaged) code. In other words, they don’t need to be in Silverlight or XNA and you have access to  system processes. That’s cool, don’t get me wrong but the only way to run these apps is to have a device that is developer unlocked. That means you’re paying $100 to get MS to unlock your phone. If you can’t sideload apps you can’t take advantage of native code/sideloading. So this method doesn’t help the average person. A stock phone cannot sideload and this does not advance the ability to sideload apps. It just means that assuming you can sideload then you can use native code. Again, cool and all, but what most people want is the ability to load any app they want (whether it be through the marketplace or not) and of course, included in those apps would be ones that use native code (since those will not pass certification to get into Marketplace). This is one piece of the puzzle, but the 800 pound gorilla is entirely untouched here.

So there are no hard feelings – the point of this post is to help everyone understand what has been done, why it matters but also why it’s not the thing you may have been led to think it is. When a regular person can install apps that cannot pass MS certification we’ll talk…for now, there’s a system call to MS’s server that’s tied to cloud based services (like toast notifications) that’s preventing this so it’s not going to be a simple system to get through.

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