After nearly two years of reverse engineering work, Windows Phone hacker René (“Heathcliff74”) announced a major update to his Windows Phone Internals tool. This new update (2.2) adds a bunch of new features, most interestingly the ability to unlock access to the boot loader on all known Lumia devices.
In a video posted to his blog, René tours the upcoming update and walks through quickly unlocking an unmodified retail device. “The phone is now fully unlocked. It is also interop unlocked, capability unlocked, [and] privilege unlocked.”
But I know what you’re thinking: Windows Phone is dead. And it’s true. But this release is still important for a couple of reasons.
First, it opens a new, unofficial, channel for continued device and operating system support. That is, enthusiasts can continue using Lumia devices and install the latest Windows updates put together by the community. Or enable previously locked out features previously sold to mobile operators as exclusives. Or even breathe new life into end-of-life hardware for use in side-projects – these devices can run Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps after all. Cliché warning: The possibilities here are endless.
Second, it bootstraps future reverse engineering work on Microsoft upcoming Windows Core OS work, expected to debut sometime around late next year, installed on the company’s upcoming “Andromeda” mobile device.