Despite widespread inferences to the contrary, obtaining root access to the Droid is, indeed, possible. Just this week, Cyanogen, a famous Android modder, confirmed the speculation on Twitter, saying that, yes, the “Droid does … ROOT.”
Zinx Verituse, the clever hacker who mined the exploit, isn't hoarding the details and links necessary to prevent other modders from doing the same. You can follow the guide yourself by clicking here.
In a nutshell, gaining root access bestows the opportunities one might expect - for example, the ability to customize the device with multitouch features lke the pinch-to-zoom functionality conspicuously absent in the Android 2.0. Additionally, a successful hack also means you can gain access to widgets and skins that would ordinarily be "off-limits" to the Droid.
According to coverage from eWeek:
Root access means users gain full rights to control the phone, taking the power away from the phone maker—Motorola—and its carrier Verizon Wireless. Android is open source, so it is expected that geeks play with the code and find ways to jailbreak the devices running it to do whatever they want. Modders did this for the Apple iPhone, bringing a source of perverse pride to the hacker community because Apple modus operandi is closed and controlling.
The people at Wired put it this way:
"While today marks a great feat in the Android community, rooting a phone does involve risks. If you have no idea what you're doing or what unlocking is, you might run the risk of bricking your phone (making it useless) or disabling essential features. Needless to say, unlocking will probably void your warranty and might put you in violation of the carrier's terms of service agreement."
Image via Wired