During November ChevronWP7 released their Windows Phone unlocking tool, ChevronWP7 Labs. Having met several times throughout the year, Microsoft is now working with ChevronWP7 to bring their unlocking tool, and the benefits it carries, to the Windows Phone OS.
ChevronWP7 Labs was designed to allow hobbyist developers to install, run, and debug unsigned applications on their personal Windows Phone. You log into the site with your Windows Live ID, pay a small fee, and presto you’re ready to write and share some homebrew code ChevronWP7 blogged
Anybody with a Windows Phone would previously only have been able to run apps provided through the Windows Phone Marketplace and therefore had been approved by Microsoft. Using ChevronWP7, developers will benefit in a number of ways:
It will enable more developers to experiment with Windows Phone leading to greater innovation.
It is an inexpensive way to run homebrew, self-made apps on physical devices.
It does not void your warranty.
There is a small fee to offset the costs but it is much more affordable than the App hub.
This tool is safe and reversible.
This is not about promoting jailbreaking activites, and as Winsupersit.com explain, this does not actually jailbreak a phone. Chevron WP7 enables developers to write code for a device without sacrificing the IP that Microsoft has put in place.
Whilst this is good news for developers, it is even better news for Microsoft. This sets its platform apart from others where tight restrictions constrain developer experimentation. At $9, the fee is so low that it encourages many who may not have considered Windows Phone before to have a go. It will also in turn impact upon the quality of apps.
If developers have a chance to experiment and test on their own device before releasing an app to the Marketplace, the quality and quantity will improve as apps that previously may have been rejected by the Marketplace can be tweaked over time until they are ready to be launched. Developers who trial this platform based on the low cost may also be encouraged to start releasing apps and getting a developer account once they have had the chance to try it and see what they can do.