Sharp End: Windows Phone 7 hacked


Dealer Jez Harris discusses Windows Phone 7 hacking, early Three upgrades and rumour of an Apple iPhone 4.5

Windows 7 hacked
The new Windows Phone 7 operating system, only around officially for a couple of weeks, is well on its way to being hacked to allow third party access to the file system.

Despite Microsoft’s stringent lock down on the new system it would appear a few clever people with way too much time on their hands have managed to overcome Microsoft’s initial layers of defence.

Once a Windows Phone 7 device is properly hacked it will allow for unofficial third party apps to be installed, very similar to the ‘Jailbreak’ of iPhone devices and ‘Rooting’ of the Android devices.

This can only be good news for the overall adoption of Windows Phone 7 as in its current form the new operating system is still too locked-down  in terms of what it will and will not allow the system to do.

One feature that has already been discovered, and is not commonly available without a little trickery, is the ability to tether the Windows Phone 7 device to a laptop via USB to allow internet access from the laptop using the phone’s data connection.

On the Samsung Omnia 7 this trick is activated by dialling ##634#, which puts the phone into diagnostic mode. Whilst in this mode, key in *#7284# to open the tethering configuration window, select ‘Modem Tethered Call’ and follow the prompts until the phone restarts itself.

Once restarted, the phone can be connected to a laptop via USB and, once the drivers have finished installing, the phone’s data connection can be used by the laptop. Easy.

It’s not the neatest of solutions but it won’t be long until somebody can programme the phone to do it with one button press. Similar code hacks can be found for other manufacturers Windows Phone 7 devices also.

Early Three upgrades
Three is allowing dealers to upgrade business customers up to 110 days ahead of the end of their contract.

Previously Three would only allow dealers to upgrade customers 30 days prior to their contract-end, whilst itself contacting customers anything up to six months early and thereby alienating the dealer community and also losing many customers as dealers churn business to an alternate network.

It looks like Three is only applying the early upgrade policy to business customers and still keeping the consumer customers to itself for early upgrades, however. Shame.

It’s good Three is now allowing early business upgrades for dealers but it’s bad it has reduced the upgrade commission payable for business upgrades by between £76 and £135 for standard Business 600 or Business 900 tariffs.

The Times with Three
Three’s latest promotion is three months’ free subscription to the web version of the The Times newspaper. This offer is available to contract and prepay customers buying mobile broadband. Prepay customers will get a further month’s subscription when they top-up with £10 or more.

Prepay mobile broadband customers now also have the option of daily top-ups, which will cost them £2 of their credit for a day’s worth of unlimited data usage. This option is aimed at the ‘occasional’ user.

Three has three new SIM-only packages available this month also – a monthly rolling plan for £20 per month, giving 600 minutes, and two 12-month plans, giving either 300 minutes or 600 minutes for £10 or £15 per month respectively.

Apple iPhone 4.5?
Word has it on the ‘tiniternet’ that since October, around the same time Apple stopped offering free ‘bumpers’ with iPhone 4 purchases, that all iPhone 4s sold since are new versions that no longer suffer from the antenna problem so widely publicised.

It is thought the antenna has now been coated with a substance that allows the signal to pass through but no longer suffers reception drop out if held in hand. You would have thought this was great news, and that Apple would sing it from the rooftops.

Well, the problem is if Apple owned up, it would be admittance there was a problem in the first place. Which is not something it has ever properly acknowledged.

Instead, it just blamed all mobile phones in general for being held the wrong way.

More seriously, if Apple has made changes to all iPhones shipped from the beginning of October then it should by rights offer all those early adopters of iPhone 4 to fix the problem, or replace their handsets. But, then that would cost Apple millions in return fees and exchanges.

Is it me just being cynical, or is Apple trying to pull the wool over the eyes of its fans?


  1. I reckon a better way to do this, if you take the Orange approach – is to buy their Mobile WiFi Novatel Wireless MiFi 3352 with a 12 month contract @ 20 quid per month for 1GB Anytime and 1GB Quiet Time, then separately buy a 16GB iPad at £429. Total cost of ownership over 2 years (assuming renewal of the £20 per month contract) is £669. You've also then got the advantage of being able to use the Mobile WiFi unit with your other gadgets (laptop, iPod touch, console etc), plus you get unlimited public WiFi hotspot access too!