It left with not a bang but a whimper. Or a Facebook post, to be more precise. This evening, HTC seems to have taken the public outcry to heart and reversed its decision to lock down bootloaders on its phones (like it has recently with the Sensation 4G and Evo 3D). What that prevented was custom ROMs being made for the devices, and as of now, the blockade is removed from HTC handsets (in some cases, keep reading). According to CEO Peter Chou on HTC's Facebook wall, "Today, I'm confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices."

Information beyond that is pretty much nonexistent. HTC (or whoever runs the account) later said that "more specific details will be shared at a later date." Just last month, Motorola said that it, too, would start to "enable the unlocakble / relockable bootloader... across our portfolio of devices starting in late 2011, where carriers and operators will allow it" (emphasis mine). That last part is clutch — carriers aren't too fond of custom ROMs, especially ones that make user tethering (without paying the standard monthly premium) easier. As far as this HTC announcement is concerned, the big open question as far as I'm concerned is how the telecoms will react to this. That remains to see, but it should be interesting.