I'm sorry if there is already a thread about this. I didn't see this specific question answered. I'm going to go purchase a Captivate at the end of this month. Do I have to root the phone in order to use the market place to put apps and widgets on the phone?
I'm coming from a Blackberry 9700 and so this style of phone is completely new to me and looks a bit overwhelming.
But it was this or the Torch. Of course the Streak and Xperia are now open for purchase but the reviews look more favorable for the Captivate.
The Android Market is available out of the box and you can install apps from there without having to root or hack your phone in any way.
Also with the Side Loading tool that this site provides you can install any app without having to root/hack the phone. (still may need to root depending on what non-market apps you want to use... i.e. the Wifi Tethering app that is available off market requires root to work).