Windows RT Jailbrake

During the chaos of the CES 2013, during last week, one particular news may have just slipped by you and that is about a developer known by his handle “Netham45” on the XDA Developers Forum, who developed a jailbreak for Surface RT. He released a batch file for automating this process, quite correctly named the Jailbreak RT. For those who are from the homebrew community this means more ported apps for the ARM based Surface RT.

For Microsoft, who would prefer that users buy more and more of the apps that they need from the Microsoft Windows Store, this may not be amusing at all. Initially they did not want to come out with an official reaction; however off late it seems that the Jailbreak Surface RT has caught their attention. Microsoft have mentioned The Register that they are “actively investigating” the Surface RT jailbreak. This may mean anything to someone who is not following what’s happening but it is quite evident that they are trying to plug the hole that was exploited by “Netham45”. Microsoft wouldn’t want apps not designed for the ARM powered Surface to run on it and thereby undermine the commercial aspects of their Windows Store.

For the uninitiated the “Jailbreak RT” batch file takes advantage of the hack that someone named C.L. Rokr reported earlier. Microsoft at that time wasn’t interested because the hack was beyond the technical prowess of most users. However the jailbreak RT takes this a step forward making the hack available for everyone and even for the ones who are otherwise not that technically sound. This obviously means a big problem for Microsoft.

At the same time however the hack also has some potentially beneficial opportunities for Microsoft. Homebrew users would be more interested now that it is possible to run legacy software not meant for ARM in the first place to be run on the Surface RT Tablet. With fledgling sales Microsoft can ill afford to let go of that opportunity.


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