If you want to install apps on a smartphone running Windows Phone 7, you have two options: Get your apps from the Windows Phone Marketplace or pay $99 for a developer account. Scratch that… now there are three options.
Today the folks at ChevronWP7 have launched a new tool that lets you sign in with your Windows Live ID, pay $9 via PayPal, and get a token which will allow you to unlock your device so that you can install third party apps without a developer account.
You’ll need to install a tool on your Windows PC to unlock your device. There are 32-bit and 64-bit versions available.
Once you unlock a device, your $9 token cannot be used to unlock another phone — but you can use it to unlock the same device over and over.
Right now the ChevronLabs Unlock utility is aimed primarily at developers that want to test apps on a phone without signing up for a full developer account. But as more developers start to create third party apps that aren’t available from the Windows Phone Marketplace, the ChevronWP7 utility will let casual users and coders alike try out those apps on their phones.
If you do later decide to sign up for a developer account with Microsoft, you should send an email to the ChevronWP7 team to deactivate your account in order to prevent any conflicts with your Microsoft developer account.
via WP Central