7Zip and other desktop apps being ported to WinRT due to jailbreak, app store in the works

7zipwindowsrt 7Zip and other desktop apps being ported to WinRT due to jailbreak, app store in the works

Just recently, we learned about a way to run non-Windows Store apps on a Windows RT device via a circumvention method that requires tinkering with the portion of the RAM that instructs Windows RT on whether it should run unsigned code or signed code.

A jailbreak tool was also recently released which is based upon the circumvention method discovered recently. The jailbreak tool is simply a batch file that does most of the work for you so you can run unsigned apps, but will need to be re-applied every time the system is rebooted.

Now, we are learning that popular desktop apps such as 7Zip, Putty, TightVNC, and Notepad++ have already been “ported” over to work on Windows RT, thanks to this circumvention method. As you can see from the screenshot at the top of this post, 7Zip was recompiled and now works perfectly on Windows RT and you can use the desktop application to its fullest. An attempt was made to bring other popular desktop applications over to Windows RT, but unfortunately its not that easy due to conflicts. Apps such as Putty, Bochs, and Gameboy emulators have all been recompiled to work on Windows RT. Even Windows 95 was seen running on Windows RT. In fact, a Java based torrent client is also confirmed to be working on Windows RT, via this circumvention method.

While these applications may work and still require you to run the app as an administrator and run the jailbreak tool every time the system boots up, Microsoft may issue a patch and remove this ability. This jailbreak attempt was brought to Microsoft’s attention and the company issued a statement not only applauding the jailbreak attempt, but also hinting that this circumvention method will most likely be gone in the near future. This doesn’t mean that the smart XDA developer community will stop figuring out ways to recompile apps and have them work on Windows RT unsigned.

A unofficial desktop ARM store is also in the works, as well as minimal interface “Store” app (see screenshot below) that will house all these recompiled apps that will only work if you run the jailbreak tool. This “Store” is still being developed and has yet to be completed. In fact, the “Store” doesn’t even update in real time due to server restrictions but this will most likely change in the future.

We will not be providing download links to the jailbreak tool nor to these unsigned apps at this time, but you can always visit the XDA Developers forum and check out their hard work.

Credits to Vihar and Netham_45 for the details and their hard work!

7zipwindowsrt 7Zip and other desktop apps being ported to WinRT due to jailbreak, app store in the works

15 Responses

  1. hary10000 says:

    Very nice work they are doing!
    I really thing ms shouldn’t release a patch and allow more apps to work on RT, more apps = more users likely!!

    • c0mrade says:

      They are apparently releasing a patch soon but they know that there is always a workaround, no system is perfect.

      • elan96 says:

        Anything that can be Engineered can be reverse-Engineered, aslong as you are willing to put that time into it.

      • Hal Motley says:

        This is going to be like the old iOS days, I hope where the jailbreakers are one step ahead of the OEM (Microsoft).

        Why doesn’t anyone use the term “tethered” or “untethered” outside of iOS?

        • c0mrade says:

          Microsoft’s secure boot makes the ‘jailbreak’ tethered all the time, we guys don’t have the resources to risk our Surface to mess with the BIOS. Each time you reboot, you have to re jailbreak…. simple

          • Hal Motley says:

            Do you think you would consider modifying the BIOS in the future when the Surface tablet is more widespread? Out of curiosity.

          • c0mrade says:

            Not me or the people I know.. we are students, hungry for credits not fame..
            there would be some rich dude in the world but

          • Hal Motley says:

            I guess we’ll have to see how far this goes then. XD

  2. StoneCypher says:

    This is idiotic.

    The only thing stopping them from releasing something native is sloth. They didn’t need the jailbreak, and deploying to the fake store will be more work than doing it right.

    • Hal Motley says:

      Microsoft also want to discourage desktop applications it seems because they want Metro to be the new way of using content. On an ARM tablet, Microsoft believe that you would barely need the desktop, that’s why they didn’t allow 3rd party desktop apps to be installed.

  3. hysonmb says:

    I think MS should embrace this just like they did Kinect hacking. That lead to massive sales, some which may never have been connected to an Xbox.
    They locked down RT to ensure consistent performance, but, if the community wants to tinker with it they shouldn’t try to stop them.

    • Hal Motley says:

      +1, I think that having a desktop is certainly a one-up from the iPad/Android where there is only one UI. All they need to do is encourage developers to compile their apps for ARM.

  4. Hal Motley says:

    I always appreciate it when hackers jailbreak an OS and allow sideloading. I look forward to seeing this progress with more apps and games being brought forward on this Cydia-like app store.

  5. rtdisappointed says:

    I would just like Silverlight to work on rt as well flash 11.5

  6. Giorgos says:

    Interesting, this might make RT (Restricted Tablet) actually useful.

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