Last week, amid the chaos that was CES, we learned that coder Netham45 from the XDA Developers Forum delivered a jailbreak for Surface RT. Aptly named Jailbreak RT, this batch file is good news for those in the homebrew community, as it allows users to install unsigned apps on the ARM-based device. Without the jailbreak, users can only run authorized apps found in Microsoft‘s Windows Store, and it appears the company would like to keep it that way.
While we didn’t hear much from Microsoft immediately after the jailbreak landed, today the company is telling The Register that it is “actively investigating” Jailbreak RT. What that means exactly is anyone’s guess but it isn’t hard to imagine that Microsoft is looking to fix the flaw that this hack takes advantage of. After all, it doesn’t necessarily take a genius to figure out that Microsoft would like as many users as possible buying apps from the Windows Store.
Jailbreak RT takes advantage of a hack that was published just a few days prior by someone by the name of C.L. Rokr. Though Microsoft didn’t pay much attention to the original hack, this new batch file seems to have caught the company’s eye. The Register suggests that’s because Netham45’s method makes it easier for less technically-inclined folks to jailbreak their tablet, which of course means more unauthorized apps running on its Surface devices.
On the other side of the coin, there is the possibility of this jailbreak tool potentially helping Surface sales. The homebrew community seems at least relatively big, and those who like tinkering with their devices might pay more attention to Surface RT now that a jailbreak tool has been delivered. Therefore, it might be a wise idea for Microsoft to just look the other way, especially since we’ve been hearing that Surface RT sales have been lagging.