The Motorola Atrix, the first dual-core phone to hit America, had a bootloader as locked down as they come. Developers have been hard at work for months now trying to find some way to get unleash the full power of the dual-core beast. It looks like we're on the edge of their first real victory. XDA member edgan has finished a beta port of the 2nd-init program which has been used on other devices to bypass the bootloader to allow custom ROMs. The program is being worked on now, and could result in some custom ROMs in the near future.
2nd-init was ported from the Motorola Defy, where it was used to run Cyanogenmod 7, surmounting a locked bootloader. This means we could even see CM running on the Atrix, if it can find developer support. While 2nd-init is a step towards freedom, and will be a major win for devs, it doesn't grant users complete control over their device. For instance, flashing new kernels is still impossible, meaning we won't be seeing the Atrix's Tegra 2 overclocked to the ridiculous speeds we're seeing the Xoom and Transformer get.
The program has been successfully installed on several devices, but is still being tested. Once the bugs are worked out it will come down to whether there are developers working on creating custom ROMs. With the Atrix now on sale, hopefully some perspective devs will be able to pick it up. We'll bring you updates as they come in, as we all look forward to the Atrix's first real taste of freedom.