Microsoft to quash homebrew on Windows Phone? Not so fast

Summary:Reports that Microsoft is set to kibosh the distribution of more tokens allowing homebrewers to create Windows Phone apps are not true.

There have been a couple of stories making the rounds over the holiday weekend claiming that Microsoft is set to cut off the air supply of Windows Phone homebrewers by stopping the distribution of the ChevronWP7 unlocking tool.

Sounds dire. Except for one little detail. It seemingly isn't true.

The ChevronWP7 team -- Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh and Long Zheng -- began distributing their tool and tokens for unlocking Windows Phones in early November 2011. The team developed the tool with Microsoft's blessing and help.

Over this past weekend, Rivera said (via Twitter) that the team had distributed 10,000 tokens, which was the initial limit agreed upon by Microsoft and the group.

As noted in the January 1 tweet above, the team is discussing among themselves whether to approach Microsoft for more tokens at this point. The ChevronWP7 team has not yet approached Microsoft about obtaining more tokens at this point, Rivera told me today. So there's been no kiboshing or threat of kiboshing -- quiet or otherwise.

Rivera attempted to clarify the situation in a January 2 post on his WithinWindows.com site.

The WP unlocking tool, which comes in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, costs $9 per Windows Phone unlock. Homebrew app developers who want to publish their apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace still need to register for a Microsoft App Hub account. (If you don't want to publish your app to the marketplace, you don't need to pay the $99 for a developer account.)

Topics: Windows, CXO, IT Employment, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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