Turning up on the forum My Digital Life, and picked up by Tom's Hardware, a forum user named "kost" has provided a way around the Windows 8 Store protection.
If you lock a system down too harshly, there'll always be someone wanting to break it — a fact that kost lists as a motivation.
"I just hate they try to signature/DRM lock PC world," kost said on the forum. "PC was always designed to run any code user wants. And it's normal. Even Apple does not DRM lock their MacBooks. They already have great sales. What Microsoft did with RT on desktops — it was manipulation to force users adopting their new environment."
Rather than altering the operating system, users need to create specific side-loading-capable versions of Windows Store apps.
"Someone have to buy it, prepare redistributable and share with others. It's like ripping Blu-ray. Someone has to buy the disc," kost's instructions said.
For now, only the full version of Windows 8 has been compromised, but it's likely only a matter of time before RT gets targeted as well, with kost supplying the source code for the workaround.
"I did not intend this crack for RT," kost said. "I'm sure crack code can be used to unlock tablets also with some modifications — but it was not my target. I leave Microsoft with their ideas on tablets and not going touch this area. Not because I can't, but because I don't want to."
As an obvious piracy tool, we're sure Microsoft will attempt to crack down on this rapidly — but, as always, it'll be just another salvo in the never-ending crackers versus corporate showdown.