A talented dev has successfully proved a method of running "native," undamaged code on a Samsung Windows Phone 7 device.
According to Long Zheng of istartedsomething, the pieces started falling into place for Chris Walsh when an xda-dev member known as "hounsell" observed that a third-party WP7 app used "native" code, rather than Microsoft's Silverlight.
"Upon closer inspection, 'hounsell' documented some interesting characteristics of the application that gave it its native capabilities - most notably a DLL called 'Microsoft.Phone.InteropServices,' which if poked the right way provided COM access," wrote Zheng.
"Building upon this, Chris was able to successfully code and deploy a valid WP7 application using the developer sideloading process to a Windows Phone 7 device that inherited the ability to run unmanaged code."
As Zheng notes, the above-mentioned hack effectively allows root access to the Windows CE-based core system, including registry and file systems that are likely to be exploited during future jailbreaking endeavors.
"[However], the last and major piece of the jailbreaking puzzle remains - sideloading an application on a common non-developer device, since such an app would never make it through marketplace certification.
"Fortunately, you can bet the geniuses at xda-developers will figure something out."
So, what does all this mean for the typical end user?
Well, as IntoMobile's Will Park explains, the above-mentioned hack will probably lead to a valid WP7 jailbreak method "going live" in the very near future.
"[This] will inevitably be followed by jailbreak apps that will give your WP7 phone new powers. We imagine that a third-party jailbreak app store will become available to dole out said jailbreak apps - just as the iPhone relies its Cydia app store to serve up apps.
"[These are] apps that [will] allow for things like unlocking the phone for use on other carriers and free (after a one-time app purchase) WiFi hotspot functionality."