In a brave move, Windows Phone 7 platform holder Microsoft has reached out to hacker George 'Geohot' Hotz with the offer of a free handset.
Hotz declared on his blog yesterday that he intends to buy a Windows Phone 7 device. In reply, Brandon Watson, an entrepreneur currently working for Microsoft, made the following statement on Twitter:
"#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 #wp7dev".
Whether genuine development ambition or simply PR is the motivation behind the invitation is a matter for debate.
Hotz rose to notoriety after emerging as one of the key hackers of Apple's iOS devices, but his name has more recently been associated with the Sony PS3.
Following Sony's decision to remove OtherOS functionality from the PS3 in order to safeguard it from pirates, Hotz declared war on the company. He eventually released an exploit with which users were able to reinstate OtherOS.
However, his most recent exploits - namely, the publishing of key information needed to break the PS3's security codes - have landed him in even hotter water, with Sony taking him to court.
Indeed, so bad has the situation become on PS3 that Activision has threatened to withdraw multiplayer PSN support on key titles such as Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops due to the number of exploits appearing in-game.
Microsoft's decision to welcome Hotz onto the Windows Phone 7 scene could certainly bring the hacker community on-side, possibly safeguarding the device from certain exploits in the future.