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Windows RT jailbroken to run ARM-based desktop apps

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Windows RT hands-on
Windows RT hands-on

Microsoft's Windows RT operating system has finally been jailbroken. Security researcher clrokr claims to have developed a way to allow desktop applications to run on Microsoft's ARM-based OS. A setting that restricts ARM-based desktop apps to Microsoft's built-in ones has been found to allow unsigned desktop apps.

Using a method to exploit the setting in memory, the vulnerability could allow Windows RT to run ARM compiled desktop apps. The revelation is a jailbreak, but no x86 desktop apps will run as they need to be compiled to ARM to work on Windows RT — making this exploit rather limited right now. The trick will need to be executed each time the operating system is booted up and will persist until it's reset.

Microsoft prioritized battery life with Windows RT, restricting desktop apps to built-in and Office 2013 RT. With this restriction lifted, it's worth noting that running any ARM desktop apps will impact this battery life, making it less appealing. Nevertheless, it's done and expect to see some homebrew ARM desktop apps in the future for Windows RT. We've reached out to Microsoft for comment on the jailbreak, and the company is currently looking into the situation.