Microsoft Surface and Windows RT gets simple jailbreak

Windows and the Microsoft Surface have a jailbreak exploit to run apps that didn't come from the Windows Store.

If you thought jailbreaking was just for the iPhone 5 and iPad , think again: Windows and the Microsoft Surface have been busted out of jail.

The crafty folk at XDA Developers have come up with the jailbreak, handily packaged into a batch file that you run each time you turn the tablet on, so you can install apps that haven't been aproved by Microsoft.

The jailbreak exploit works on Windows RT, the tablet version of Windows 8 found in the Surface and set for a range of tablets from ( a small number of ) other manufacturers. RT is designed for the low-powered ARM chips found in tablets. It's a stripped-down version of the software that only runs apps from the Windows Store, unlike the full version of the software that allows you to install any app you fancy.

Applying the jailbreak allows the tablet to run apps that didn't come from the Windows Store, although applications designed for a computer's x86 processor won't work on the tablet unless recompiled for the ARM architecture. 

The full version of Windows 8 is set to appear on a tablet in the shape of the Microsoft Surface Pro , which is expected in the US this month but is yet to have a British release date confirmed. Meanwhile the different versions of Windows 8 have caused enough confusion to see the Samsung Ativ Tab cancelled .

Have you upgraded to Windows 8? What do you think? And what do you think of Windows 8 tablets? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.



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