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Windows Phone 7 homebrew on the rise, with Microsoft's approval

Microsoft has offered to send a free Windows Phone 7 smart phone to infamous iPhone jailbreaker Geohot, as it reaches out to hackers and homebrew developers.

Apple doesn't look kindly on people who jailbreak the iPhone, but Microsoft is taking a more relaxed approach for Windows Phone 7 in the hope it will lead to a thriving scene of homebrew apps and games.

The company has offered to send a free WinPho handset to George Hotz (pictured above left), reports The Escapist. Who? Young master Hotz became famous under his hacker name Geohot, as one of the first people to jailbreak the iPhone.

"#geohot If you want to build cool stuff on #wp7, send me email and the team will give you a phone -- let dev creativity flourish," tweeted Brandon Watson, director of developer experience for Windows Phone.

The offer came after Geohot posted approvingly about Microsoft's recent meeting with hackers ChevronWP7, who were the first to jailbreak WP7 last year.

Rather than send in the lawyers, Microsoft invited them in to its office, and even gave them some swag -- shirts with the slogan "I was the first to jailbreak Windows Phone 7, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt".

So, Microsoft loves homebrew, right? Well, that's going a bit far. The company is patching the hole that allowed ChevronWP7 to jailbreak its mobile OS, after all.

The meeting with ChevronWP7 was to talk about "officially facilitating home-brew development on WP7". Microsoft better get its skates on: yesterday, a homebrew registry editor was released for developers to tinker about with, according to WMPoweruser.