Microsoft has decided to go the exact opposite way from Apple with regard to jailbreakers of the Windows Phone.
Apple tried to make jailbreaking iPhones illegal. However, it lost the battle after the DMCA declared it legal, allowing users to install third-party apps or even use the phone on a different network. Apple then changed its warranty policies that people could jailbreak their phones at a particular cost.
Now, Microsoft is awarding hackers of its Windows Phone 7 a t-shirt and a free phone and the company's executives are meeting the hackers to 'discuss' how they can support these applications to benefit both the hacker and the company, Wired.com reported.
The move was happily welcomed by surprised hackers, including George Hotz (or GeoHot) who is known as the first person to hack the iPhone.
GeoHot announced that he was going out to buy a Windows Phone 7 after Microsoft's announcement. His move came shortly after he announced on his website that GeoHot will start a new challenge to jailbreak the Windows Phone in a way that would make Microsoft mad.
He said the jailbreak would be less complicated than the one on Apple's iOS devices.
However, Microsoft reached out to GeoHot already and offered him a free handset, media reports stated.
Microsoft's stance on hackers might change the long acrimonious relationships between hackers and big tech companies.
Though the Phone is just gaining popularity, having a relationship with hackers would help in gaining some mileage with the hacker crowd as well as provide new insights into new developing concepts for the phone.
Microsoft will still have control over its app store, unlike Google's Android OS that has resulted in a cluttered, slightly confusing atmosphere for users.
Apple still does not allow any third-party software into its app store. Users who want access to these apps will have to forfeit warranty initially.
Sony filed a case against Hotz earlier this month, seeking injunctive relief and damages based on damages based on violations of digital millennium copyright act; violations of the computer fraud and abuse act and contributory copyright infringement among other things.
The case was filed against Hotz along with two others - Hector Martin Cantero and Sven Peter - and the team that hacked Sony's PlayStation 3 in 2010. The jailbreak tools used to hack into the PS3 were also made public, allowing open access to its hardware in a manner that users could now play games that were not manufactured by Sony on the PS3.
However, Hotz denies that he has any connection or affiliation with the other defendants.
Sony, despite the case, continues to be affected severely by the hack as it would have to replace all the hardware for the PS and cannot simply install a patch to solve the problem.