Microsoft’s new stance on people hacking and tinkering with its products has been on display with its actions towards experimentation on the Kinect, but the company is also working to ensure that anyone who wants to play with its Windows Phone platform can do so.
To that end, the company is working with a group of previously renegade hackers who built the most popular unapproved unlocking tool for Windows Phone handsets.
Today the group unveiled that its eventual solution, built with the nod from Microsoft, should cost a mere $9. Its mission is as follows: “In collaboration with Microsoft, we (the ChevronWP7 team) will be delivering on our goal to make Windows Phone development more accessible by providing an approved device unlocking solution for a small fee.”
Chris Walsh, a popular figure in the Windows Phone community and member of the ChevronWP7 team, compared the price of its coming tool to the normal developer fee of $99 to develop for the platform: “@ailon You’re still paying $100, labs is only $9. /cc @WithinRafael.”
The reason that Microsoft is working with ChevronWP7, and not fighting against them, is to lower the barrier to entry in regards to Windows Phone development. There are surely more people willing to pay $9 than $99 to play around with the Windows Phone software and hardware, and the more that do, it seems to follow, the more total apps will be built for the platform.
Therefore, to Microsoft, the coming tool from ChevoronWP7 is a bridge to allow more developers to enter its mobile domain. The tool was promised to be coming “soon” in the middle of June.