Well, this is a bummer, but not something that it is wholly unexpected: The nifty team behind ChevronWP7 Labs is shuttering the project, and moving on.
If you recall, and I’m sure you do, there was quite the brouhaha over ChevronWP7 Labs just some time back, when they sold out of ‘tokens’ for their handset unlocking tool. We took a hard line on the topic, as we had just learned of the 10,000 token limit by way of it being reached.
Our views was thus: Microsoft should not have limited the tool’s reach, and also should have preemptively supplied more tokens, given the popularity of the service. For a full explanation of that particular goat rodeo, head here. This post is its final capping.
You should be happy to know that the conclusion of the ChevronWP7, while disappointing, was in the words of the team, “amicable.” Both sides, Microsoft and ChevronWP7, didn’t exactly get what they wanted. According to the group’s blog post, people often misunderstood what the tool could do, and they had to invest a great deal more time in support than had been anticipated. That’s always a pain. And secondly, that Microsoft had hoped that developers who unlocked their handset would convert into developers who published apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
According to ChevronWP7, that didn’t happen: “Our data indicates that most developers simply unlocked their devices for non-developmental reasons and never went all the way to publish an app in the marketplace.” So, with both sides of the equation not entirely content, the project is being set aside. Here’s the final note that you need, if you did use the tool: “Unlocks issued through the ChevronWP service will expire 120 days after April 13, 2012.” You can of course re-unlock, once in App Hub.
Good on the ChevronWP7 for working with Microsoft and getting 10,000 unlocked handsets into the wild. And good on Microsoft for working with ChevronWP7 and supporting indie dev. Finally, Microsoft is offering a full year of App Hub access to people who picked up the unlocking tool. That’s a classy move.