Hackers and jailbreak creators have been all over the news during the past couple of weeks, with Sony's PS3 rootkey unlock being the most major of the recent hacks. Now famed hacker George Hotz, better known as "GeoHot", has set his eyes on the likes of Windows Phone 7.
According to CNET
, Hotz, one of the main players in the recent PS3 scandal, announced earlier this week that he would begin working on a jailbreak for Microsoft's new mobile operating system (OS), Windows Phone 7.
However instead of unleashing the lawyers, as Sony did, Microsoft decided to try a different approach with the developer platform product manager for Microsoft, Brandon Watson, approaching GeoHot over Twitter. His tweet read, "#geohot if you want to build cool stuff on #wp7, send me e-mail and the team will give you a phone—let dev creativity flourish #wp7dev.”
This isn't the first time that Microsoft has approached hackers in the public sphere instead of in the courtrooms. Recently another team of hackers created ChevronWP7, a home brew unlocker for the OS which would allow users to run home made software.
Microsoft approached the creators of the software and invited them to the company's Redmond, Washington headquarters to talk about officially bringing such functionality to the platform, after which the team agreed to remove the ChevronWP7 tool from its website.
On the other hand, GeoHot has had a restraining order filed against him by Sony and the company is reportedly looking into taking more legal action against him. Sony alleges that Hotz's jailbreak violates both the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Computer Fraud Abuse Act.
It's clear that these companies are walking on a publicity tightrope, trying to protect their products on the one hand, and trying to encourage developer creativity on the other. Time will tell whether the Sony or the Microsoft approach will prove to be the best in dealing with hackers and jailbreakers.