The first, and so far only, method for unlocking smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform looks have its days numbered, with an impending patch expected to close the hole used by the ChevronWP7 package.
According to a post on the ChevronWP7 (opens in new tab) blog, Microsoft has confirmed to the developers of the package - which allows Windows Phone 7 handsets to install unsigned code, similar to the 'jailbreaking' process on an iPhone handset - that the security flaw in the Windows Phone 7 platform will be patched as part of an update to the platform due to roll out in the next few weeks.
While the update, announced by Microsoft at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, brings some significant improvements to Microsoft's latest mobile platform - including copy and paste functionality and improved memory management for faster performance - it will also take away the ability to unlock the handset, something advanced users are likely to be unhappy about.
The team behind ChevronWP7 explains: "As everyone is settling into the new year, we’d like to provide an update on our scheduled face-to-face meeting with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 team next week in Redmond. We’ll be sharing our perspective on the homebrew potentials of Windows Phone 7 and some of the wider community feedback around the platform.
"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. Although this has been subtly communicated before, we’d like to reiterate Microsoft has informed us the “coding error” used in the ChevronWP7 unlocker will no longer work after the next Windows Phone 7 update."
With the hole used to facilitate unlocking of the platform patched, ChevronWP7 - which has already been discontinued after Microsoft discussed its concerns regarding piracy on the platform with the developers - users will be left with locked-down handsets until the next inevitable breakthrough is made.