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If I was writing this almost a year back, there was a way you could have downloaded an app from Windows Phone Marketplace and side load on your phone if that was unlocked. Since many windows phone started using custom roms, it was slowly becoming a pain for the Windows Phone Dev team to handle it. However, beginning this year, Windows Phone did put an effort on countering this with a final blow which took place after the recent update to Windows Phone App Hub.
First Blow : Installing Apps from Zune was discontinued
The major piracy of app that was taking place because of the Zune which has a desktop client, and it was easy to find the download link of apps using the sniffing tools. As a matter of fact, downloading apps were as easy as hitting an address bar on the address bar.
Microsoft discontinued this sometimes back which major blocked users to get a download link. Though this was an annoyance to many users as downloading directly into the phone is not as comfortable as from Zune.
Second Blow : Encrypted Apps.
Windows Team Blog discussed 10 separate points in a blog post and in one of the questions they answered that if you are seeing that your apps are encrypted, then you are pretty correct and is one of the new features of Windows Phone Dev Center. Infact any update that is followed is also encrypted.
So does that mean that nobody can find the download link ? I really cannot be sure of that, but I am guessing that Windows Phone Apps must be getting tied to a Windows Phone ID or something on similar lines to work. So this means even if you download it will not work on side loading the app.
I really wish that Windows Phone team brings in transparency from a developer point of view on how the encryption is happening and how an encrypted app works on Windows Phone.