User `netham45` from the XDA Developer forums has released a self-described "all-in-one" jailbreaking tool for Windows RT devices. Allowing them to run unsigned win32 API based applications.
This won't let you run existing desktop applications on your ARM based tablet, but it paves the way for developers to port their existing Windows desktop applications to Windows RT devices. Already ported applications include PuTTy, 7zip, Notepad++, and a VNC client+server.
Installation is just a matter of copying some files onto your device and running the included batch file.
Download and information available via http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2092158
You can find a list of desktop applications that have been ported to Windows RT (only usable with this jailbreak) at http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2092348
Developer certificates allow a single machine to run 'Modern' apps that haven't been distributed via the Windows store. Once done the machine can freely install as many apps as they like that haven't been verified.
End-users can get a developer certificate in two ways
- Install any edition of Visual Studio 2012 (Including express)
- Running the installation script for any developer app package, which will prompt the user to permit adding the certificate.
Both of them will give a nice friendly warning telling the user that this is for development purposes only, but there does not to be any further nag after that.
Users do not need to be developers to have a developer certificate installed.
While not really a jailbreak, it's a fairly simple workaround and entirely effective. All that's left is for it to be wrapped up in a way that makes it invisible to the end user.
With Windows 8 hitting RTM earlier today, the countdown to a working jailbreak has begun.
For those who are wondering what a jailbreak would mean for Windows 8 and why, let's quickly recap a few things:
- Windows 8 'Modern' apps can only be distributed through the Windows Store. Developers are currently prohibited from distributing these apps directly to their customers.
- Microsoft become the sole gate keeper to the platform, determining what apps they wish to allow and those to deny.
- Microsoft are very heavily pushing developers to develop 'modern' apps (It wasn't until a significant amount of uproar that they brought back 'normal' desktop development in Visual Studio Express editions)
- Microsoft takes a 30% cut from all Windows Store app sales
All of this is bad news for developers and for end users. It means less innovation from developers as they are shackled to the artificial limitations imposed by Microsoft, and it means more lock-ins and restrictions for end users.
So this site will be about collecting an aggregating information and news about Windows 8 jailbreak activity, and to discuss its impact on the development community.
Just a point of clarification: none of this is about piracy or allowing end users to run pirated software. It is about allowing developers to break out of the walled garden and deliver their software directly to their end users without having to go via Microsoft to do it.