Rafael Rivera of ChevronWP7 has just taken to the team’s blog to announce that Labs may finally be put to rest. As they informed users back in June, Chevron-unlocked devices would begin to relock on August 11th. Rivera confirmed this in the blog post, saying that the next time your phone syncs to your PC it will be back to its original locked state. He also notes that if you picked up one of the free Marketplace developer memberships the team had offered, you may need to unlock the device again using the Windows Phone SDK’s Developer Registration tool.
For those too young to remember the tale, Microsoft had reached out to the ChevronWP7 team in order to setup a cheaper way for people to unlock their devices without having to pay for a Dev Center (then App Hub) membership fee of $99 a year. When it launched, it asked just $9 for your Windows Phone to be officially unlocked and giving you the ability to sideload homebrew apps. The program was meant to inspire amateur coders to graduate into official Marketplace developers, but as it turns out few made the transition. So in April, we learned that the ambitious ChevronWP7 Labs experiment was coming to an end.
We’re very curious to see where the Windows Phone homebrew scene will go from here, with Windows Phone 8 promising the power of native code and the new shared Windows core.