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Is it possible to "root" a Windows Phone device? What are the benefits?

This question might not be 100% legal and thus it would make me wonder if it adheres to the legal terms as set by Stack Exchange. If it violates the EULA (or some kind of buyer's agreement) of the Windows Phone that's set by Microsoft, it could be so that this question be advising illegal practices.

So, would we allow questions that belong to gray areas?

I've seen Super User prohibit Hackintosh, but am not 100% sure whether rooting is white or gray...

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    I think root Windows Phone is certainly related to hack or dev. I think we need to avoid this. – Vitor Canova Apr 25 '12 at 2:43
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    The knowledge of how to do something is different from the act of doing it. – Louis Apr 25 '12 at 4:28
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    A hack is definitely in the realm of advanced user – Jesse Apr 25 '12 at 6:46
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    I don't think this is in the realm of dev. Wanting to do HOW to root your device is different from "How can I make a tool for users to root a device" – Joe Apr 25 '12 at 17:52
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    How is being administrator/root on your own phone "grey area"? That should be illegal to restrict - see dailytech.com/… – NoBugs Nov 20 '14 at 6:27
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Android allows these unquestioningly, and SE hasn't had a problem with it. Or at least not that they've told me, and I am a mod there ... :P

I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, but breaking a contract is not illegal. It's a civil wrong, not a crime. As such it's completely up to the parties involved in the EULA (or whatever the agreement may be) to maintain and uphold their agreement. In other words, if someone wants to break their contract then that is up to them, and the consequences are theirs to deal with (not ours or SE's).

  • So, I understand your last paragraph as having to wait for a response from an associate. – Tamara Wijsman Apr 25 '12 at 12:17
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    @TomWijsman I don't think we need to wait, I think these questions are fine. If this community wants something explicit from SE, though, that's fine too. – Matthew Read Apr 25 '12 at 17:22
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    I think it is fine. I am too lazy to look this up, but isn't there something saying rooting/jailbreaking iPhones is legal? You just lose support from apple and your carrier. I don't see why this is any different. Rooting isn't breaking the law, so why is is a gray(grey?) area? – Joe Apr 25 '12 at 17:51
  • @Joe: Okay, that's a good point. At best I guess we can warn people about the drawbacks (lose of support, possibility of breaking stuff). Other than that, the legal terms state we provide our information as-is... :) – Tamara Wijsman Apr 25 '12 at 18:30
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I think questions which result in an answer like "Not currently possible. But you can do this by rooting." are fine. It is useful to build up a list of can and cannots.

Initially I thought that most of these ROM and rooting questions should be off-topic. I see that http://android.stackexchange.com allows both custom rom and rooting questions. After thinking about it and remembering how horrible it is to find answers in a 2000 page thread on XDA forums, then I actually think it is an OK idea. Perhaps initially we wont be able to answer many questions, but hopefully in time XDA users will be drawn here.

If you are asking about the legality of these Q & A's, then this post should shed some light Should we allow questions that belong to a gray area?

  • What "gray area" means? – Vitor Canova Jun 12 '12 at 14:11
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    Black and white means that the answer is a clear choice. Since grey is in between the two colours, then the answer is unclear. – row1 Jun 12 '12 at 14:16
  • FYI This answer has been merged from a duplicate question, which is why it seems to now be recursive :-) – Mark Hurd Dec 8 '13 at 11:13

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