PS3 and iPhone hacker offered free handset by Microsoft representative “to build cool stuff”.
Microsoft has offered noted hacker GeoHot a free Windows Phone 7 handset.
George “GeoHot” Hotz, the 21-year-old who hacked the iPhone and PlayStation 3, posted on his website that he intended to get a WP7 device after reading of Microsoft’s progressive attitude towards homebrew developers on Engadget.
Microsoft had rewarded the first WP7 jailbreaker with a sit-down at its Redmond HQ and a t-shirt reading: “I was the first to jailbreak Windows Phone 7, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.”
“Perhaps a more appropriate way to deal with jailbreakers,” Hotz wrote. “I’m going out to buy a Windows Phone 7."
He soon found he didn’t have to when Brandon Watson, who describes himself as an “entrepreneur on loan to Microsoft focused on getting our developer mojo back”, tweeted Hotz to say: “If you want to build cool stuff on WP7, send me [an] email and the team will give you a phone – let dev creativity flourish.”
Perhaps inevitably Watson has since been fielding numerous requests from other developers who also fancy a free phone from a firm that seems to have long since accepted its phone being jailbroken as inevitable, and is seeking to engage, rather than demonise, the community. “We always have phones for developers building apps or contributing to the community,” he said last night.
GeoHot is currently locked in a legal battle with Sony who has filed for a temporary restraining order, and alleged several breaches of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, after he published PlayStation 3’s root keys online. Hotz denies the charges.