Guest post written by Gwen Davis

Microsoft is finally seeing the light as possibilities for opening doors to homebrew micro-developers have been spearheaded by Brandon Watson, Director of Developer Experience for Windows Phone 7 who has taken the soft approach of dealing with hackers as if they are merely a Windows hosting reseller. By inviting the likes of George “Geohot” Hotz, Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh and Long Zheng for an alliance, the said executive has been dubbed as Microsoft's tech evangelist. So why is that such a big deal?



Well for those who aren't on the know, Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh and Long Zheng were the very first to jailbreak the Phone 7 platform sometime during November last year. This happened when the team uncovered a bug that set the Network properties of a WP7 using unmanaged DLL’s. This hole lead to the development of the ChevronWP7, a tool that gained notoriety for unlocking the device by using a method to trick the platform into registering itself as a Windows Phone 7 developer account with the application's fake registration hosting server hence allowing those running the hack to install applications on their Phone 7 bypassing Microsoft's application store, Marketplace.

According to the trio's latest blog post on their dialogue with Microsoft, a Phone 7 update slated for early February will soon fix the bug that the ChevronWP7 unlocker took advantage of. But with the impending death of their tool however, the said hackers confirmed that they will now collaborate closely with Microsoft in the same way a Board of Advisors would in creating an official standard for homebrew support.

As for the other hacker in question George “Geohot” Hotz' exploits include Apple (iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad) and Sony (PS 3) jailbreaks, and for that reputation apart from his retort at Sony's TRO: “I'm going out to buy a Windows 7 phone”, the same invitation has also been extended to him from Brandon Watson via Twitter. For now, there have been no reports yet whether or not Hotz took the bait.

Indeed, Microsoft has been making uncharacteristic moves of late like OneNote Mobile for the iPhone and if they continue to grow more open-minded I'm pretty sure that Microsoft will regain their diminishing glory as an I.T. powerhouse.