05/18/2012 – UPDATE: VIDEO AT THE BOTTOM OF ARTICLE…
As someone who is normally a proud Microsoft developer, I unfortunately haven’t been lately. For the past few weeks I have found a bunch of tweaks that I have done to be fun and harmless and enjoy but unfortunately also have made/done some hacks in the new Microsoft Windows 8 OS but not too happy.
As a developer, the one specific hack I am speaking of, well this hack basically makes me not want to develop for Windows 8 and really, why should I after all? My source code is freely available to anyone who thinks hard enough or desperate enough to remove my Ads (which is how I make a living, or try to). You may be asking yourself, but how bad can it really be Lance? I’m telling you, BAD but telling you is not the same as showing you.
I am now in the middle of making a HOWTO Video for my Tech Show, TechMeShow [only on YouTube] on how to do this with your tablet (in our case and remote connect) or Desktop/Laptop. However, I am going to tell you step-by-step and the purpose of doing is strictly to gain attention to this flaw as it seems I am a nobody in the tech world and who am I for anyone to listen? Hopefully this gives me a voice for my other findings and in other products/services that no one takes me serious with.
Let’s get started!
Step 1). Open your Libraries folder (Must be done in Aero/Desktop Mode; It’s the Icon that looks like a folder and placed next to Internet Explorer).
Step 2). On the left side, select “Computer” and once selected, double-click (or Tap) your Local Disk [Hard Drive] aka partition with Windows Install, normally ‘C:’.
Step 3). From the ‘Ribbon’, click “View” and check-mark the option [towards the left] labeled “Hidden items”.
Step 4). Double-Click to open “Program Files” and look at the bottom of the list and click to open “WindowsApps” and you’ll notice it has a transparent looking folder icon or known as a hidden folder icon, which is correct.
Tip-ALERT: Security Warning, right? Well, we can bypass it thankfully. To learn how to bypass the security issue, scroll down for “Security Hack-Around” for step-by-step directions on how to force access but also doing so is important to access Windows App’s.
Step 5). Select any title, in this case I am going to open “Microsoft.BingWeather_1.0.1033.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe”. Once inside the folder, find and right-click “default.html” and in the Context Menu select “Open With” and in the list select “Notepad”.
Step 6). If you’re a programmer or better yet, for this example a Webmaster or Website Developer, this looks like a website, right? Only because it is HTML, the very thing everything on the web is one way or another made up from. If you notice the Title Tag in the Header it reads “WeatherApp” and sure you can change it but the App will likely not work properly or at all as Microsoft can somehow detect changes.
Step 1). When you get the pop-up of the security alert allowing you to Cancel or hit Continue, select Continue.
Step 2). When you’re denied access, a hyperlink button exists saying “security tab”, click it.
Step 3). Under the “Security” tab, select the button “Advanced” and as the next screen appears, the top 2nd item that says “Owner: TrustedInstaller”, right next to it says “Change” and select it.
Step 4). In the next dialog, type your Username OR your LIVE/Hotmail Account (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org) and press “OK” or search for your account by hitting “Advanced”.
Step 5). Now keep pressing “OK” on each dialog until it has gone away completely. After that, you’re done and go back up to Step 5 (if applicable).
So, now that you’ve been able to get access to source code from Microsoft and perhaps other App Developers software, you can understand why I am sad that I have been able to figure this out. This is not the first time Microsoft has allowed something like this. Windows Phone 7 App’s XAP files if renamed to .ZIP, the contents were visible and reverse engineering could be easily performed and thankfully places like PreEmptive Solutions exist helps us developers take that daunting task away, a little bit.
Please do not hate on Microsoft nor its staff, be upset that this hasn’t been resolved or to my knowledge even explored. I am in a way hoping I am not the first to discover this but only here for spreading the word and have it gain attention as I really don’t want 3rd-party tools to be part of my budget, it should exist within the Compiler or Platform/SDK’s. If you do have questions, always welcome to ask me OR get me on Twitter at @LanceSeidman, which is normally the best method of contact.