Power users looking to get the most out of their Windows Phones have something special to look forward to. ChevronWP7 is a utility that allows consumers to developer unlock their Windows Phone 7 devices. This provides the capability to side-load applications to the phone without going through the Marketplace, as well as providing lower level access to things like the system registry. Typically this functionality requires a $99 per year subscription to Microsoft’s App Hub.
The ChevronWP7 team made big news in December when Microsoft invited them to Redmond to “engage in further discussions with us about officially facilitating homebrew development on WP7.” Today Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh, and Long Zheng have announced that they are preparing to launch an approved Windows Phone unlocking service. Though a small fee will be involved the team has promised that the cost will be more affordable than the App Hub. A firm price has not been announced at this time.
Providing options for the homebrew community could be a major selling point for Windows Phone, as many consumers prefer a competing platform like Google’s Android due to the open nature of their devices. This announcement opens up many possibilities on the future of software and apps for Windows Phone. Being able to load software without having it go through Microsoft’s approval process could provide an avenue for open source software to make its way onto the devices. Advanced customization on the Windows Phone platform is currently very limited, which could also change with this type of solution.
For more information and updates you can follow @ChevronWP7 on Twitter.