So far, Microsoft hasn’t been supremely successful with its Surface RT tablet. The Windows RT running ARM-powered tablet has sold slowly with Microsoft blaming much of the poor sales on the fact that it doesn’t have a wide distribution platform. Reports have surfaced this week that the Windows RT operating system has now been jailbroken.
A jailbroken Windows RT operating system would mean that unsigned ARM applications could be run on the Microsoft tablet. An unlocked tablet capable of running unsigned applications could usher in an entire Windows RT homebrew community and make the tablet more popular with hackers and developers. The new tool comes from XDA Developers user netham45.
The tool is a batch file that automates the jailbreak process that was originally discovered by a hacker going by the name clrokr. That particular user was able to change settings in the Windows RT kernel after discovering the correct values to open the types of apps that the operating system was allowed to run. This jailbreak tool is far from perfect though.
The main limiting factor for this tool is that the setting needs to be changed each time the computer is booted up. Apparently, the setting can’t be permanently altered on devices that are enabled with Secure Boot. The original hack from clrokr was reportedly highly technical limiting its usefulness to those with the expertise to execute it. However, the automated jailbreak tool from netham45 makes the process into something that the average user with a Surface RT tablet that feels like running unsigned software can take advantage of. It’s worth noting that there’s a high probability that Microsoft will patch the “flaw” that this tool takes advantage of.